Fr Paul reads the last Gospel for this liturgical year, from Luke’s Gospel (21: 34-36), in which Jesus tells the disciples to ‘Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence stand before the Son of Man”.

Fr Paul says in today’s Gospel Luke gives us three matters of constant importance in the work of spreading the good news. Those three things are sobriety, prayer and the trap.  By sobriety it is meant the concentration, the perseverance in avoiding the distractions of the world. The second matter is prayer, and just as Jesus prayed constantly, so should we. Prayer should be permanently part of all we do, just as it was for Jesus.  Thirdly, there is the mention of the trap.  This, again, refers to the fall of Jerusalem.

The fall of Jerusalem to the Romans is both an end and a beginning.  This is a very suitable reading, this last Gospel for our Church’s year. It reminds us that there is an end and a beginning. It is the perfect bridge from this liturgical year to the next one with its themes of staying awake, being on our guard and being prayerful and watchful. These are all the things that will be introduced to us during these coming weeks of Advent.

For our reflection today, Fr Paul says, as the Church year comes to an end and we begin a new liturgical year, we might concentrate, we might persevere, we might pray that our Lord Jesus Christ is with us.