Today is the Second Sunday before Advent. Today’s Gospel reading comes from the fifth and final block of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew’s Gospel, teaching that calls God’s people to be ready to welcome God’s reign. Last week the Gospel reading was the narrative of the wise and foolish bridesmaids (Matthew 25: 1-13). This week’s Gospel reading is the narrative of the faithful and wicked servants (Matthew 25: 14-30). While the wise bridesmaids needed simply to be prepared, the faithful servants were required to be active and to make full use of all that their master had entrusted to them. For them, waiting for the Lord to come is not a passive but an active commitment. Waiting for the Lord to come is not world denying but world affirming.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of different gifts. In today’s picture from their book, Myself and others, Aled and Sian are appreciating the different aptitudes of their friends for making music.
Lord Jesus Christ,
all that we have comes from you.
Teach us so to use
what you have given us,
that our lives may praise your name;
now and always.
Next Sunday is the last Sunday of the Church’s year and celebrates Christ the King. The image to help prepare for this theme is human dignity. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.