First Sunday of Advent

What goes on in our hearts?

Luke 21.25-28, 34-36

Jesus’ warning today about drunkenness, debauchery & material cares is not an old-fashioned rant against joyful living. It is simply an honest look at how we often seek an anaesthetic when overcome with grief or pain.

His scary picture of the end of the world, with shaking of the skies, the earth and oceans, could be echoed by many things in our own day, from climate change to urban shootings. But his answer is not to make a survival shelter. Instead he says: ‘Pay attention to what goes on in your hearts’.

So when Governments call for tougher rules against refugees who are drowning in the Channel, or force benefit cuts for those struggling to make ends meet, what goes on in our hearts? If Christmas becomes a month of punishing social obligations, what goes on in our hearts?

Does our love for our fellow human beings grow or does it wither?

In the upheavals around us, the hand of God is surely at work, but we will only see it if we pay attention to what goes on in our hearts. And our purpose is not to be judgemental or smug, but as St.Paul puts it today ‘to increase our love for one another…. and for the whole human race’.


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