In the first Sunday of Advent, the First Reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. The prophet lives at a time when Israel is divided into two kingdoms that were threatened by the powerful Assyrians. Isaiah is a prophet in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. During his ministry, when there prevail either wars or rumors of war, the people and the Kings fail to listen to and follow the ways of God. Isaiah’s prophecy suggests that conflicts between nations will continue, but God will be the one who will judge and impose terms. Ultimately, “Walking in the light of the Lord” means God’s people, gathered from all nations, will live in accord with God’s word.
The Second Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans. There we hear Paul exhort the early Christians to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Even though Paul is writing to a Christian community which has accepted Christ, their total conversion to his ways is far from complete. Therefore, Paul urges the Christians to “throw off deeds of darkness” and to put on "the armor of light" to live considering what they believe according to the spirit.
In the Gospel Reading from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus instructs his disciples on the importance of readiness for his Second Coming. Like Noah we, as followers of Jesus, should be prepared for his Second Coming. The reference to the “two men” and “two women” is one of contrast. Externally, they seem alike, but internally, one is prepared for God’s coming and the other is not. The clear message in this Gospel is: “Walk in the light of the Lord; put on the Lord Jesus Christ; stay awake and be prepared.” For those who are living according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, the end of this world is only the beginning of heaven.