First Sunday of Advent


Jesus said to his disciples:  “Be watchful! Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come.  It is like a man traveling abroad.  He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.  Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.  May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”   Mark 13:  33 – 37

Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent.  The old liturgical year has ended and we begin a new liturgical year, the Gospel reminds us that our time on earth is not permanent.  We are told three times that we must “Stay awake”! As members of the household of God, left in charge of the Church, each with our own task, we are called to take up our task and be ready.

It is so easy to miss the whole point of the Advent Season.  We watch and wait for the coming of the Messiah while at the same time we are bombarded by all the commercial messages we receive about shopping, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  During these short four weeks we are invited to journey to the manger.  We are invited to get in touch with our deepest yearnings.  Like Mary, we wait patiently, preparing for the birth of Christ.

We need to stay awake to what is truly important to us and prepare our hearts to be open to the coming of Christ.  This truly is my most favorite time of the year and I wish it were longer.  As we journey this Advent let us do so with great hope and trust.  Let us  create these spaces by clarifying what we are watching for during the Advent Season with the simple prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus, help me to grow in a greater awareness that you are my Savior. You have saved me from endlessly searching for the meaning of life. You have saved me from turning against myself by your forgiveness. You have saved me from endlessly searching for signs of your presence because you touch me through your Sacraments. You have saved me from thinking that the possessions or positions I have will save me and make me loved. Thank you for continuing to save me.”