December 3, 2006 1st Sunday of Advent (Year C)

Jeremiah 33: 14-16
Psalm 25
Luke 21; 25-36

Today Advent starts. Advent is the 3 weeks of preparation of the heart for Jesus' birthday, i.e. Christmas.

In the Gospel Jesus gives us a gentle warning: "Be careful not to let yourselves become occupied with the worries of this life" (GNB).

The Greek word for "worries" is "merimna".

This word is often used in the New Testament which was originally written in Greek. For example in Jesus' parable of the seed that is planted. Some seed falls among thorns (weeds) and the thorns that are the worries of life choke God's life in us. Again the 12 disciples were concerned about their future - they had the worries of life; Jesus says, "Look at the birds, look at the flowers. God knows where each one is and you humans are far more precious in His eyes. So do not worry ("worry" here is the verb of "merinma")."

But in our busy and competitive society that so emphasizes material possessions and getting into a good school, a good job and advancing in it - we all are influenced by this atmosphere and consequently we all have "worries".

How doses Jesus guide us when we have such worries?

One word: TRUST.

Trust our kind God because He is looking after each one of us. He says: to each one:

"You are precious in my eyes and I love you. Fear not" (Isaiah)

That is the message of the birds of the air, and flowers of the field. But today I give you this passage from the 1st letter of Peter, 5:7 "Cast your (merinma) worries on the Lord: He is looking after us". In today's Gospel Jesus says to us: "Be alert! Pray!"

In prayer let us throw all our worries in God's gentle hands because He really cares for each of us. that is the road to peace of heart.

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