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Turn On. Tune In. Wake Up!
November 27, 2022, 1:00 AM

First Sunday of Advent

In the 1960’s people were urged to turn on, tune in, and drop out—to leave the material world behind in favor of an alternate reality. In today’s gospel, Jesus also urges us to tune into an alternative to the material world, one he called the coming of the Son of Man. In Jesus’ person, the dominion of God comes into the world, and the risen Christ continues to give us abundant signs of its presence. Jesus commands his followers not to drop out of the world, but to be on the lookout for him in it.

Christians await the second coming of Christ, the parousia, when we believe we will experience God’s reign in its fullness. In the meantime, we live, in the words of some theologians, “already, but not yet.” We look for glimpses of the dominion in the here and now. The season of Advent, and today’s readings, are designed to help turn us on to the excitement and anticipation of God’s reign in our lives and tune in to the infinite opportunities we have to participate in it. In other words, they want to wake us up!

St. Paul exhorts us in today’s second reading to lead lives of faithful obedience until the final day. He also challenges us to participate in God’s dominion in the here and now, calling us to wake from sleep, to “put on Christ.” Eyes wide open and wrapped in Christ, we are called to a new day. Isaiah describes his own vision: gathered by God, learning and teaching God’s ways, walking in God’s paths, beating swords into ploughshares and spears to pruning hooks. Wide-awake, active, and ready for encounters with Jesus, we may find God’s dominion when and where we least