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The First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 64.1–9
1 Corinthians 1.3–9
Mark 13.24–37

A monk comes to his abbot, seeking enlightenment. He questions the abbot eagerly and impatiently, firing questions at him. But the abbot says, ‘Just look.’ The monk is very disappointed, ‘I’m always looking,’ he says sulkily. ‘No, you’re not,’ says the abbot. ‘In order to look at what is here, you have to be here, and you are mostlysomewhere else.’ Stories like this abound in monastic literature, and in the sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. This particular one comes from the Benedictine tradition (you can read it in full in Joan Chittister’s book, The Rule of Benedict).1

Advent is a time to start preparing to meet God, and most of the preparatory readings suggest that this is, at best, a sobering prospect and, at worst, a positively terrifying one...

Taken from Lectionary Reflections – Year B by Jane Williams

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