Suy Niệm – Chúa Nhật 1 Mùa Vọng – Dec. 02 – Năm C

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Suy Niệm:    Lời Chúa hôm nay mời gọi mỗi người chúng ta hãy tỉnh thức, cầu nguyện và mong chờ ngày Chúa quang lâm:  Không ăn chơi đàn điếm, Nhưng cầu nguyện mong chờ. Không lẳng lơ chè chén, Nhưng chu toàn bổn phận. Không danh vọng, dục tình, Nhưng sớm lễ chiều kinh. 

Cầu Nguyện:  Lạy Chúa, trong Mùa Vọng này, xin Chúa cho chúng con luôn ở gần bên Chúa trong tinh thần cầu nguyện, để lắng nghe được tiếng Chúa vang vọng trong tâm hồn chúng con, để chúng con luôn sống đẹp lòng Chúa và sống chan hòa với anh chị em, ước gì ngày Chúa đến, chúng con luôn đứng thẳng và ngẩng cao đầu, đón mừng ơn cứu độ Chúa thương ban. Amen

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Chúa Nhật 1 Mùa Vọng – năm C

BÀI ĐỌC I: Gr 33, 14-16   “Ta sẽ làm nảy sinh cho Đavít một chồi công chính”.

Trích sách Tiên tri Giêrêmia.

Đây lời Chúa phán: Đã đến ngày Ta sẽ thực hiện tin mừng Ta loan báo về nhà Israel và nhà Giuđa. Trong những ngày đó và trong thời gian đó, Ta sẽ làm nảy sinh cho Đavít một chồi công chính, Ngài sẽ xét xử và thi hành công lý trong xứ sở. Trong những ngày đó, Giuđa sẽ được cứu thoát, Giêrusalem sẽ sống yên ổn. Và đây là tên người ta sẽ gọi Ngài: “Thiên Chúa, Đấng Công Chính của chúng tôi”.  Đó là lời Chúa.

 

ĐÁP CA: Tv 24, 4bc-5ab. 8-9. 10 và 14      Đáp: Lạy Chúa, con vươn linh hồn lên tới Chúa (c. 1b).

Xướng:   1) Lạy Chúa, xin chỉ cho con đường đi của Chúa; xin dạy bảo con về lối bước của Ngài. Xin hướng dẫn con trong chân lý và dạy bảo con, vì Chúa là Thiên Chúa cứu độ con. – Đáp.

2)Chúa nhân hậu và công minh, vì thế Ngài sẽ dạy cho tội nhân hay đường lối. Ngài hướng dẫn kẻ khiêm cung trong đức công minh, dạy bảo người khiêm cung đường lối của Ngài. – Đáp.

3)Tất cả đường nẻo Chúa là ân sủng và trung thành, dành cho những ai giữ minh ước và điều răn Chúa. Chúa thân mật với những ai tôn sợ Chúa, và tỏ cho họ biết lời minh ước của Ngài. – Đáp.

 

BÀI ĐỌC II: 1 Tx 3, 12 – 4, 2    “Xin Chúa làm cho lòng anh em nên dũng cảm khi Chúa Kitô đến”.

Trích thư thứ I của Thánh Phaolô Tông đồ gửi tín hữu Thêxa-lônica.

Anh em thân mến, xin Chúa gia tăng và ban cho anh em tràn đầy lòng thương yêu nhau, và thương yêu mọi người như chúng tôi đối với anh em, để lòng anh em được bền vững trên đường thánh thiện, không có gì đáng trách trước mặt Thiên Chúa là Cha chúng ta, trong ngày Đức Giêsu Kitô, Chúa chúng ta, ngự đến cùng với tất cả các Thánh. Amen.

Anh em thân mến, ngoài ra, tôi còn van nài anh em trong Chúa Giêsu điều này, là như anh em được chúng tôi bảo cho biết phải sống thế nào cho đẹp lòng Chúa, anh em đang sống như vậy, xin anh em cứ tiến thêm nữa. Vì anh em biết rõ huấn thị chúng tôi nhân danh Chúa Giêsu đã ban cho anh em.  Đó là lời Chúa.

 

ALLELUIA: Tv 84, 8   Alleluia, alleluia! – Lạy Chúa, xin tỏ lòng từ bi Chúa cho chúng con, và ban ơn cứu rỗi cho chúng con. – Alleluia.

 

PHÚC ÂM: Lc 21, 25-28, 34-36    “Giờ cứu rỗi các con đã gần đến”.

Tin Mừng Chúa Giêsu Kitô theo Thánh Luca.

Khi ấy, Chúa Giêsu phán cùng các môn đệ rằng: “Sẽ có những điềm lạ trên mặt trời, mặt trăng và các ngôi sao; dưới đất, các dân tộc buồn sầu lo lắng, vì biển gầm sóng vỗ. Người ta sợ hãi kinh hồn chờ đợi những gì sẽ xảy đến trong vũ trụ, vì các tầng trời sẽ rung chuyển. Lúc đó, người ta sẽ thấy trên đám mây, Con Người hiện đến đầy quyền năng và uy nghi cao cả. Khi những điều đó bắt đầu xảy đến, các con hãy đứng dậy và ngẩng đầu lên, vì giờ cứu rỗi các con đã gần đến.

Các con hãy giữ mình, kẻo lòng các con ra nặng nề, vì chè chén say sưa và lo lắng việc đời, mà ngày đó thình lình đến với các con, như chiếc lưới chụp xuống mọi người sống trên mặt đất. Vậy các con hãy tỉnh thức và cầu nguyện luôn, để có thể thoát khỏi những việc sắp xảy đến và đứng vững trước mặt Con Người!” Đó là lời Chúa.

Gospel Lk 21,25-28.34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Daily Reading & Meditation   Sunday (December 2):  “Look up, your redemption is drawing near”

Gospel Reading:Luke 21:25-28,34-36

25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

34 “But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; 35 for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. 36 But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 33:14-16

14 “Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which  it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’”

Meditation:
 How good are you at reading signs, especially signs which God sends our way? The people of Jesus’ time expected that the coming of the Messiah would be accompanied by extraordinary signs and wonders. Jesus’ first coming was clouded in mystery and surprising wonderment: Even though he was the rightful heir to the throne of King David, he was born in obscurity in a cave at Bethlehem, near the place where David had watched over his father’s sheep some 1000 years before. A choir of mighty angels chose to announce the good news to a small band of lowly shepherds keeping their night watch nearby. Learned magi from the East, who recognized a great omen in the heavenly sky, followed the star until it led them to Bethlehem. They alone found the child with his mother and paid him homage as the newborn king of Israel. When Jesus humbly submitted to baptism at the River Jordan, the heavenly Father spoke audibly for those nearby who were willing to listen, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.”

Signs which point to the Lord’s coming to reign with power and great glory
Jesus, during his public ministry performed numerous signs: turning water into wine, calming the storm at sea and walking on water, multiplying seven loaves of bread in the wilderness to feed 5000 people, healing the blind and the lame, expelling demons, and raising the dead. While many believed in Jesus, many also questioned his signs and refused to believe his claim to be the Messiah sent by the heavenly Father to suffer and die for our sake and for our salvation on the cross of Calvary. Jesus’ last and greatest sign during his earthly ministry was his rising from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion. This sign demonstrated his power to defeat death itself and to give abundant everlasting life to all who believed in him.

Jesus told his disciples that his final great sign would be his return in glory at the end of the age. He would come this second time as Judge and Merciful Redeemer to vindicate those who accepted him as Lord and Savior and to punish those who rejected him. Jesus declared that this last sign at the end of the world would be unmistakable. All would recognize and “see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). The title which Jesus most often used to describe his Messianic role was the expression “Son of Man”. This title comes from the Book of the prophet Daniel, chapter 7. The image of a “Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” was given in a vision where the prophet Daniel saw heaven opened before the throne of God (Daniel 7:13-14). In this vision God showed Daniel a royal investiture of a human king before God’s throne. This king was invested with God’s authority and was given power to judge and rule over the whole earth. His reign would last for all ages.

The Jews of Jesus’ day were looking for a Messiah King who would free them from the oppressive rule of pagan Rome. Many had hoped that Jesus would be their victorious conquerer. They missed, however, the most important sign and reason for the Messiah’s first coming – his death on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world and his triumphant victory over death and Satan when he rose on the third day. The Lord Jesus is both the “Son of David”, the rightful heir and Messiah King of Israel whose reign will endure for all ages (Psalm 89:3-4,29,36-37) – and the “Son of Man”, chosen by God as the anointed ruler who will come at the end of the age to establish a universal kingdom of peace, righteousness, and justice for all the nations and peoples of the earth.

The Messiah comes to “execute justice and righteousness in the land”
The prophet Jeremiah foretold the day when God would send his Messiah King  to “execute justice and righteousness in the land” (Jeremiah 33:15). Jesus is the fulfillment of this promise and every promise which God has made. The Lord Jesus, through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, assures us of his abiding presence and the promise that he will return again. His Holy Spirit gives us supernatural hope, and the strength to persevere with joyful confidence until the Lord comes again. What kind of hope does the Lord offer us? He gives us the hope of heaven, seeing God face to face, sharing in the fullness of his glory and everlasting life. When the Lord comes again as our Judge and merciful Redeemer he will right every wrong, vindicate every person who has accepted him as Lord and Savior, and remove all sorrow, pain, and death itself (Revelations 21:4). The world around us is plagued with greed, envy, strife, and uncertainty. It has lost hope in God and in his promise to restore the human race and all of creation when the Lord Jesus comes again.

Jesus’ prophetic description of the end of time and the day of judgment  was not new to the people of Israel. The prophets had foretold these events many centuries before. “Behold the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger to make the earth a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it” (Isaiah 13:9-13; see also  Joel 2:1-2; Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:14-18). Jesus speaks of the second coming as a known fact, a for certain event we can expect to take place. This coming will be marked by signs that all will recognize; signs which will strike terror in those unprepared and wonder in those who are ready to meet the Lord. When the Lord returns he will establish final justice and righteousness over the earth by overthrowing his enemies and by vindicating those who have been faithful to him. The anticipation of his final judgment is a sign of hope for all who trust in him.

Indifference and rejection of the Gospel lead to destruction
What can keep us from recognizing the signs of the Lord’s presence and his action today? Indifference and  the temptation to slacken off – to become passive and lethargic or to fall asleep spiritually. It is very easy to get caught up in the things of the present moment or to be weighed down with troubles. The Lord knows our shortcomings and struggles and he gives us the strength to bear our burdens and to walk in his way of holiness. But there is one thing he doesn’t tolerate: an attitude of indifference, being passive, not caring, and doing nothing when we could be actively seeking God and his kingdom! God is ready to give us fresh vision, hope, and grace to walk in his ways. He wants to work in and through us for his glory. That is why he expects more of us than we can do by ourselves. His grace enables us to actively watch for his action in our lives, and to actively pray for perseverance and endurance when we face trials and difficulties. The Lord gives us his strength to overcome temptation, especially from apostasy – the denial of the Lord Jesus out of fear or pride. God is ever ready to fill us with his strength and divine power. Is your heart hungry for God or is it weighed down by other things?

Advent season reminds us that we are pilgrims and exiles longing for our home with God
Many churches in the East and West, since the early first centuries of the Christian era, have marked special seasons to celebrate the central truths of the Christian faith. The Advent season which precedes Christmas and Epiphany reminds us that we are a pilgrim people, aliens and exiles in this age who long for our true home with God in his heavenly kingdom, and who await with joyful hope the return of the Lord Jesus at the end of the age. When will the Lord Jesus come again? No one but the Father in heaven knows the day. But it is a certain fact that we are living in the end times, the close of this present age! The end times begin with the first coming of Jesus Christ (his Incarnation which we celebrate at Christmas and Epiphany) and culminates in his final return on the Day of Judgment.

“Lord Jesus, may I never lose sight of the signs of your presence in my life and the signs of your action in the world today. Free me from spiritual dullness, indifference, and every distraction that would keep me from you. May I never tire of listening to your word, seeking you in prayer, and longing for your return in glory.”

Psalms 25:1,4-5,8-10,14

1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
14 The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The coming of the Son of Man, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)

“He says that they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Christ will not come secretly or obscurely but as God and Lord in glory suitable for deity. He will transform all things for the better. He will renew creation and refashion the nature of people to what it was at the beginning. He said, ‘When these things come to pass, lift up your heads and look upward, for your redemption is near.’ The dead will rise. This earthly and infirm body will put off corruption and will clothe itself with incorruption by Christ’s gift. He grants those that believe in him to be conformed to the likeness of his glorious body.” (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 139)

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