Reflections - November 29, 2015

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life and that day catch you by surprise…..Lk. 21:34-36
On this First Sunday of Advent we begin Cycle C of the new Liturgical year.
There are two intense times in the Liturgical Year that serves as preparation, the birth of Jesus Christ in Christmas and the celebration of Easter’s resurrection.
I would like to ask you:  What is this week’s Advent message?  The answer is very clear.  The four weeks of Advent is an invitation to be “awake” to see that our salvation comes through Jesus Christ.  The opposite of being awake to live sleeping.  A sleeping Christian is a person that does not “see”, that does not “think”, and that does not “live” in the present time.  We have to ask the Lord for “strength” through prayer so that He may open our eyes to awaken from an indifferent world, from a world filled with concerns that don’t allow us to recognize Him as the Light of our world and our salvation.  Let us ask the Lord in this Advent to think like Him:  “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped…he humbled himself”.  Phil. 2:5-9.  Perhaps I need to practice being more humble in my family and in my community.  “Deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me”.  Lk. 9:23.
Live:  They say that examples drag.  We have to ask the Lord to strengthen us in the faith to live as He lived in justice in a world filled with many injustices and pain.  Perhaps a good question to ask as we await the coming of the Lord is:  Do I act with the right intentions in my relationship with my others?  Maybe this would be a good time to purify my intentions to love.
Because the coming of Christ into the world should be viewed from the perspective of a loving father who sees so much hatred in so many situations of war and injustices, but that does not hate the world.  “For He so loved the world that He sent His only Son”.  He incarnates and dies on the cross for our sins.  That is what we celebrate “it is not lights and trees” (which is not bad), but our salvation is the most important thing.
There is also a second coming.  “Parousia” is an invitation to continue following, looking, thinking, and living like Jesus, “so that day will not catch you by surprise”.  Jesus came and will come to this world because He wants to save it.  A very good question to ask yourself this Advent would be:  And what do I want to do to save the world? 
As we receive Communion let us ask the Lord to prepare us for His coming by helping the most in need of salvation.