Reflections - Nov. 30, 2014

“Be watchful!  Be alert! You do not know when the time will come…Mk. 13:33.
Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent from cycle B.
The First Reading and the Responsorial Psalm invite us to live this time of preparation for Christmas by praying to our Father God.  The prophet Isaiah tells us:  
“You, Lord, are our father,” Is. 63:16, and Ps. 79:4 says, “let your face shine and save us”.
The Gospel invites us to be “vigilant”.  We sometimes spend years waiting for many events that can change our lives.  For some it is the lottery, for others it’s waiting for a long journey, and still for others it’s a change at work…..none are bad, but the Lord brought me into this world for something else.  He brought me to develop, as St. Ignatius says, “my spiritual sensitivity”.
For this reason the question in these four weeks of preparation is:
In whom do I put my hope?  Do those longings fill my life?
Perhaps this is a time to put our spiritual life in order.  We sometimes live with much extroversion where we don’t think and we don’t assume responsibilities.  To be vigilant is a challenge to have Christ, our Savior, as the absolute value in our lives.
Be vigilant lest He find you sleeping……Mk. 13:36, with many things that do not fill the void of God.
Pope Francis says:  “To be vigilant is to be awake in the faith.  You have to also have the gentleness, patience, and consistency of charity……to stay awake is to live with hope.
I invite you to incorporate every day in this time of Advent a time of prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament, praying the rosary if possible with your family, and also giving thanks at mealtime.  To be vigilant, as the Pope says, is being constant in giving charity to people who live alone and need help perhaps with a word of Christian encouragement and hope.  That is, my dear brothers and sisters, what it means to be awake in this Advent season awaiting His arrival.