First Sunday of Advent – Year A

Manuscript Leaf with the Last Judgment, from a Book of Hours
ca. 1400

With the First Sunday of Advent, Year A, the Magisterium of the Church invites us to begin again on our road to salvation and sanctification. These are two of the most precious gifts Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ offers us. He took on a human nature in order to give them to us, if we want them, if we want Him.

Here is the link to access the Doctrinal Homily Outline for the First Sunday of Advent.

The central idea this writer gleaned from the readings is that we ought to wake up and prepare to meet Christ. Our definitive meeting with Him at our particular judgment at the moment of our death is closer today than it was yesterday. We ought to be always ready.

The way to salvation that Our Lord sets before us—through our human nature and the economy of salvation—is the human virtues elevated by grace. That is why the doctrinal content of the outline focuses on the “hinge” virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. These help and guide each person along the way of doing God’s will, which is to go about doing good.

Finally, the practical application offered is to make a daily examination of conscience. If you set out on a sailboat across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Tokyo and you never checked your course with a compass, or sextant, or your GPS, you would be unlikely to ever arrive there—and you might just as likely end up on the bottom of the sea.

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