The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
Psalm 122: 1-9
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
Brothers and sisters:
You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Jesus said to his disciples:
For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Most of us never know the hour when we are going to pass away. Even when a person is terminally ill, death can be hard to predict accurately. Most of us don’t think about it much nor do we want to think about our death.
When we think about the days of Noah when the flood came, we realize that the victims were not expecting the immensity of the disaster God had well planned. For a long time Noah was building the ark. We might imagine that had the people repented in that time, God may have relented in the punishment. But God understood the culture was reprobate and was not listening to the voice of His Spirit.
When Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple, he sat down first to make a whip of cords. It wasn’t likely in the time that he was fashioning his whip, that the merchants would have approached Jesus to ask him what he was going to do with it or what they might do to appease his wrath. Jesus knew that they were past the time of talking and what he would have to do to evict them was not going to be pleasant.
The messages for the first Sunday in Advent are a gift to us. The hour of our death is very precious if we are prepared to meet the Lord. If we are not ready, as most of us are not, this season is a good time to think about what we need to do to get ready.
God wants us not only to think about our eternity with Him, God wants us to long for it. We prepare for death every day of our lives by repenting of our sins, being thankful, glorifying God, trusting in His mercy, and forgiving others. God is pleased that we pray every day about our death asking for intercession in the Hail Mary. Today, pray the Hail Mary with special attention to the last line, “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” Amen.