This first Sunday of Advent begins a new year in the Church. This year we follow the readings of Matthew, and this first Sunday the attention is not on the first coming of Jesus, as is the central theme of Advent, but rather on his Second Coming at the end of time. As people await Jesus’ return, the community of disciples must always be prepared because no one knows the time (Matt 24:36,42). It is in ordinary events that our Savior comes to us. In a generation that did not care about God, Noah is singled out as one who found favor in his eyes. Jesus uses this story in the final discourse about the end-time to compare his time with that of Noah. In Noah’s time nobody expected a flood to destroy the world and so people refused to change how they lived. We are invited to accept the Messiah as he comes to us, not in any extraordinary way but rather in the very ordinary things. Jesus does not say when the time will be because nobody knows, except God the Father (Matt 24:36). Since nobody knows when and how the end is going to be we must always be prepared. This is the advice Jesus gives his disciples. Jesus comes to us not only at the end of the world but every day, in every circumstance of our lives. We expect God to manifest himself in spectacular ways like miracles and other extra ordinary events. But this is not the way Jesus comes to us. He invites us to see him in the people and the events of each day: in our family and in our friends, in the poor and the sick.