1st Sunday of Advent

‘Public services are better prepared for wintry weather than previously’. Then the winter came up and almost everybody complains about untreated roads and pavements covered with snow. The given explanation was simple: this wintry weather approached sooner than we’d expected. So public services were caught by surprise.

Three years ago nobody expected the worldwide financial crisis. People saw their future in bright colours; some of them overestimated their prospects and took big mortgages. Governments in many countries spent more and more money, increasing national debts. Warnings expressed by some economists were ignored, because everybody wanted to have his or her own share in the dolce vita. Then the bubble burst and we’re in a mess. Many countries have stood on the edge of bankruptcy.

Jesus in today’s gospel speaks about another disaster those people were familiar with: the Flood and Noah: ‘before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands […] till the Flood came and swept all away’. Didn’t they suspect the Flood? Well, they saw Noah building the ark. But probably treated him as an old crank and his ark as something bizarre. Doesn’t it sound familiar?

Current cultural climate encourages people to enjoy life with little thought about the future. In such a climate a call for moderation and consideration seems bizarre. Apparently ‘having fun’ is the only acceptable way of life.

This Sunday is the beginning of advent, the period of the liturgical year commonly considered as preparation for Christmas. That’s true just for the last 7 days of it. The main message of this season concerns awaiting for the final return of Jesus Christ. We express that faith in the words of the acclamation: ‘Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. We don’t know exactly when. So we have to be well prepared always, as if he were coming here and now.