First Sunday of Advent — Christ is the way

| Mathew Kelly | November 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

To help readers deepen their experience of the Advent season, The Catholic Spirit is reprinting a series of reflections from Matthew Kelly’s book “Rediscover Advent,” published by Franciscan Media.

• Isaiah 2:1-5
• Romans 13:11-14
• Matthew 24:37-44

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind — just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you — so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I Corinthians 1:4-7

I believe God wants us to be happy. I believe God gave us this yearning for happiness that constantly preoccupies our hearts. It seems he has placed this yearning within each human heart as a spiritual navigational instrument designed to lead us to our destiny. God himself is the author of our desire for happiness.

The modern search for happiness is governed by individualism, hedonism, minimalism and their fruits: greed, lust, laziness, gluttony, selfishness, exploitation and deception. And, yet, as these philosophies become more and more the focus of modern lifestyles, people seem to be filled with a greater discontent and unhappiness with every passing day.

As a father who takes a sincere and active interest in the lives of his children, God sent his only son to respond to humanity’s yearning for happiness, and to teach us how to satisfy that yearning. God sent his son into the world to reconcile us with himself, certainly, but he also sent Jesus to show us how to live.

The philosophy of Christ is the ultimate philosophy of human happiness. It isn’t just a way of life; it is the way of life. At the same time, the philosophy of Christ is one of self-donation. This is the great paradox of God’s teaching. In our misguided adventures, we may catch glimpses of happiness as we live outside of the philosophy of Christ. You may even taste happiness for a moment living a life contrary to the philosophy of Christ, but these are stolen moments. They are just shadows of something infinitely greater.

Where do I look for happiness in my life? How much of my search is directed toward what God has to give, and how much is directed toward what the world has to give? Does the balance need to shift?

The prayer for this week is based on Matthew 24:42-44: “Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. . . . You must be ready, for this Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Although it contains a warning to “keep awake,” to remain alert, it offers hope and expectation in the coming of Christ at the end of time.

“God of hope, I look to you with an open heart and yearning spirit. During this Advent season, I will keep alert and awake, listening for your word and keeping to your precepts. My hope is in you, as I wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus.”

“Rediscover Advent” features reflections and meditations for every day of the Advent season and can be used by individuals as well as groups.

To order the book, visit, click on “online catalog” and type “Rediscover Advent” in the search box.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Advent