We present here the texts that will be read at Sunday mass, the 8th Sunday of the Great Advent (for the Great Advent see here), and we formulate some questions that might help us prepare to hear the readings.

advent waiting

Isaiah 63:16c-64;7

You, O LORD, are our father; our Redeemer from of old is your name. 17 Why, O LORD, do you make us stray from your ways and harden our heart, so that we do not fear you? Turn back for the sake of your servants, for the sake of the tribes that are your heritage. 18 Your holy people took possession for a little while; but now our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary. 19 We have long been like those whom you do not rule, like those not called by your name.

1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence-- 2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil-- to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. 5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. 6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.

Psalm 80:2-3. 14-15. 17-18

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, 15 the stock that your right hand planted.
17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself. 18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind-- 6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you-- 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark 13:33-37

33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake-- for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

Questions for adults:

- The prophet Isaiah says: “Why, O LORD, do you make us stray from your ways and harden our heart, so that we do not fear you?” Does God really make us stray and harden our hearts? How should we understand the words of the prophet?

- Jesus opens with the word “beware”. What do we need to beware of?

- Jesus says “what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake!” Each one has his or her own way to stay awake. Can we share with one another: how do I stay awake?

Questions for kids:

- Jesus says to us: “keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come”. What time is Jesus talking about?

- Jesus says that we must be like a doorkeeper standing watch. What does this mean?

- Jesus says that the master of the house (that is Jesus himself) can come “in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn”. When do I meet Jesus in my life?