This is the Liturgy of the Hours for December 31. Your local date is .
First Sunday in the Season of Advent
Psalm 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
A reflection on today’s Sacred Scriptures:
Today we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent and begin a new liturgical cycle, year A. This is a time of prayer and preparation — a time-out from hectic distractions, and a time-in for quiet nourishment from the beautiful Advent scriptures. It’s a time for inner activity of prayer, and outer works of generosity to our neighbor.
In the first reading from Isaiah, God invited the divided kingdom of Israel to climb the holy mountain to His house. There He will melt down their swords, and turn their hearts to thoughts of peace. What seemed to them an impossible dream actually came true seven hundred years later when Jesus was born. The kingdom was united, and peace ruled the whole world, Scripture tells us.
The message for us is clear. We must continually strive to work for a peaceful and just world, so that Christ may have room in all hearts. Peace starts in the hearts of believers.
The second reading from Paul to the Romans insists that we wake up, and throw off the works of darkness. If we follow Paul’s advice to walk in the light, then Advent is a time for sincere riddance of sinful ways and sluggish response to the teaching of Jesus and His Church.
In the Gospel, Jesus warns us that we must be prepared, for “at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” We wonder for how many people, this Christmas will be the last time they celebrate it on this earth. We need to take this Advent seriously, for the coming of the Lord will be not just a beautiful Christmas, but the actual day of judgment. As the inscription on an old sundial in an English garden says, “It’s later than you think!” With joy, let us climb the mountain of the Lord!
 Scripture for Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word
 Text of About today from the Catholic Calendar and Daily Meditation Archive