First Sunday of Advent – 2023

Written on: November 28, 2023

Written by Sister Dolores O’Dowd, GNSH

First Reading: Isaiah 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians, 1:3-9
Psalm: 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Gospel: Mark 13:33-37

A printable version of the Advent Reflection is here.

“Anticipating With Hope”

Advent has long been recognized as a time of anticipation – something is coming. Anticipation can be fearful or joyful. Isaiah appears to have looked with dread. We might be tempted to relate to that feeling when we look at life around us – fear, hate, abuse, destruction of earth and one another. We might connect with Isaiah as he muses: “Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways.” We may also pray as he did: “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down.” But isn’t that exactly what God did do in Jesus?

This brings us to the other form of anticipation, what Pope Francis refers to as the joy of the gospel. It gives us a guide so that we can indeed be found doing the right. Jesus gave us the Spirit whom Hildegard speaks of as the “hope of oneness for that which is separate and that which makes life alive.” Eckhart reminds us: “the first outburst of whatever God does is always compassion.” He also echoes Matilda of Magdeburg in connecting compassion with justice.

So, Advent is an invitation to venture into life with the Spirit who, as Hildegard says, “awakens and reawakens everything that is.”

Be Watchful! Be Alert! The Spirit is bringing life!

Links to the 2023 Advent Series

First Sunday of Advent: Reflection by Sister Dolores O’Dowd, GNSH
Second Sunday of Advent: Reflection by Sister Patricia Geary, GNSH
Third Sunday of Advent: Reflection by Sister Dolores Beatty, GNSH
Fourth Sunday of Advent: Reflection from our President, Sister Denise Roche, GNSH




9 thoughts on “First Sunday of Advent – 2023

  1. Pat Connolly says:

    Thanks, Dolores You have a beautiful gift of
    bringing together the past and present for inspirational reflection

  2. Sister Diane Bardol says:

    To both Dolores and Patsy – Thank you both for your fresh and refreshing reflections on these first two weeks of Advent.

  3. Claire Keighley says:

    Thank you for a beautiful reflection to open up our Advent journey and praise.

  4. Eileen White says:

    Reflecting again this first Sunday with your offering. Thank you.

  5. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you Sister Dolores for your reflections.

  6. Maryellen Glackin says:

    Thank you Sr. Dolores for your gentle and inspiring words. I’m reflecting on compassion as justice. Thank you.

  7. Arlene Kisker says:

    So thankful that I am reminded that God treats us with compassion and I can hopefully anticipate heavenly reward even though I have many human frailities.

  8. Sr. Paty Geary says:

    Ah, yes…as Shakespeare notes in the “Merchant of Venice,”
    ‘mercy seasons justice.’ We must pray during this season that ‘mercy’ triumphs. What an Advent gift!
    Thank you, Dolores.

  9. Kathleen Koon says:

    Thank-you for offering these reflections.

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