THE LIFE THAT GOD WANTS
1st Sunday of Advent Year – C
In the second reading, taken from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians, after having prayed for them that the Lord be generous in increasing their love for one another and for the whole human race, Saint Paul urges them to make more progress in the life that God wants. What is the life that God really wants?
The answer is found in the same letter of Saint Paul. He clearly states: “What God wants is for you all to be holy” (1Thes 4: 3). In waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ, we need to be holy so that we shall not be taken by surprise. That is why, in the gospel Jesus says: “Watch yourselves or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap.” Holiness can be, in this case, understood as being watchful in everything we do.
In the Gloria that we sing every Sunday, we proclaim that Jesus Christ alone is the Holy one: “For you alone are the Holy one, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.” Although Jesus Christ alone is the Holy one, we are all called to holiness: “Be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you” (1P1: 15).
Advent is a great opportunity to answer God’s call to holiness. Indeed, God’s call to holiness is for every one of us. That is why, in his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exaultate n°14, Pope Francis tells us: “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by laboring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.”
Let us not forget that holiness is the life God wants. Let us always pray for the gift of holiness which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives (cf. Gal 5: 22-23). “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Thes 5: 23)!