Mass Readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A
- First Reading – Isaiah 2:1-5: “He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 122: “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.”
- Second Reading – Romans 13:11-14: “For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.”
- Gospel – Matthew 24:37-44: “Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.”
Themes for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A
The readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A speak of readiness for the coming of Jesus Christ. In the first reading we hear that God will establish His kingdom and we must be ready to walk in the light of God. In the second reading Paul warns us to be awake. In the gospel Jesus warns us not to be unprepared, as people were in the days of Noah. This is a time to prepare for our Lord to come into our hearts.
- Be awake
- Be ready
- Be prepared to work
- Things which are temporary vs permanent
- Walking in the light
Resources for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A
Get on Noah’s Ark is an easy game. All you need is some laundry baskets and stuffed animals. Even your youngest VBS students will enjoy this game. Use more animals for older students.
This is a fun easy game to prepare. All you need is a small piece of paper to be the ticket. It is moderately active and can be played indoors or outdoors. Since there is not a lot of running, it even works in a meeting room.
This year, consider participating in a reverse Advent Calendar. Rather than opening a window to take something each day, this Advent Calendar encourages giving.
Now is the time to set up and Advent table in your home or youth ministry room. If at home, put it in your family room or another room your family uses every day. Use it as a focal point to remember to observe Advent.
An Advent Wreath is another beautiful way to celebrate this season. See some tips and a printable scripture calendar here.
A Jesse tree is a traditional Advent craft which shows the relationship of Jesus to famous people from the bible. Every day you read the story of somebody related to Jesus from the Bible and hang an ornament on the tree.
Today, say a simple Advent prayer service together. It doesn’t need to be lengthy. In fact, with very young children, shorter is sometimes better.
A good deeds chain is a simple paper chain, but you must do a good deed for each piece of paper you add. Make a long chain during this season!
Homilies and Reflections for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A
From Bishop Robert Barron and Word on Fire. “Friends, Happy New Year’s Day! We come today to the beginning of a liturgical year—the first Sunday of Advent. There is a sort of a permanent Advent quality, a vigil quality, to the Christian life. We are waiting, watching; we want something we don’t fully have. And as we prepare for the coming of the Lord, our Advent challenge is this: What is our “highest mountain”? Where do we offer worship? If it is not the mountain of the Lord—if we have fallen into a spiritual sleep—now is the time to wake up and stay awake, to get our lives in order, to stop making excuses.”
From Scott Hahn. “Jesus exaggerates in today’s Gospel when He claims not to know the day or the hour when He will come again. His point here is that the exact ‘hour’ is not important. What is crucial is that we not postpone our repentance, that we be ready for Him—spiritually and morally—when He comes.” Continue reading.
Also from Bishop Barron. “Advent is, perhaps most immediately, a preparation for that coming; we are getting ourselves ready to receive the Christ who wants, even now, to be born in us. Well, how do we do this? Our readings for this first Sunday of Advent give us some wonderful instruction. “
More Thoughts for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A
Preparations for Christmas often involve putting up decorations, purchasing gifts, and making food. But these are not the only things we need to do to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. We need to prepare our hearts also.
The gospel tells us that we must think ahead. Eating and celebrating and being with families are not bad things. But if our hearts are not turned toward God, then we have missed the point.
So as we prepare our homes and our hearts for Christmas, we must remember that the Lord is in our midst. He is in the child who doesn’t have any Christmas presents. He is in the homeless man who has nowhere to go for Christmas. So to prepare for Christ, we need to make preparations for him in all of the places where we will encounter him during this holy season.
Reflection Questions for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A
- What is my focus as I prepare for Christmas?
- Do I see Christ in the people around me, particularly in the marginalized?
- What else do I need to be ready for the coming of the Lord?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A
Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.Matthew 24:40-42