Reflections - November 27, 2016

“Stay awake!  For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” Mt. 24:42.
 
I was visiting and old woman to take her Communion and she always told me this phrase:  “How fast time has gone by.  Everything has been like a dream”.
 
As we begin the First Sunday of Advent of Cycle A the Gospel presents us with this phrase:  “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come”.  Jesus reminds us all that life passes very quickly.  And as Paul said to the Romans:  “Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed”.  Rom. 13:11.
 
Advent is a time of grace and preparation.  It is a time to look at how we have lived this year looking inwards, especially our attitudes, and recognize if the Lord has been the center of our lives.
 
There are many people who live in an unreal world disconnected from reality.  Calderon of the Barca, a famous Spanish writer of the XVII century, use to say this phrase:  “Life is a dream”.  It is especially a dream when one looks back as the old women that I would visit said and discover that our lives have passed by without leaving traces of Christian love.
 
This time of Advent is a time in which it is very important to return to the path remembering that God is our Father and that we are creatures full of greatness, but also full of miseries, “that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths”.  Is. 2:3.
 
A good serious question to ask ourselves would be:  How do I prepare this Advent?  Am I really awake for His visit?
 
I feel that to be awake means perhaps dedicating 15 minutes a day in prayer and try to see His presence.  A Young woman told me that it helped her to practice patience in the inhuman traffic of Miami by taking Jesus as her passenger and converse with Him and listen to Him.  For others it could be to pray the Rosary with family and friends. It could also be to perhaps have courtesy and delicacy in an environment that compassion and charity at times does not abound.
 
It occurs to me that to be awake is what Paul continues to tell us in his letter to the Romans:  It is to “put on the armor of light, the Lord, Jesus Christ”.
 
To be awake is to reflect the light of Christ by being witnesses of life in what we do so that the anxieties and entanglements of this world will not keep us asleep at His coming.  Let us ask in Communion for a deep discernment to “purify our intentions” because there are many attitudes that we may have towards our neighbor that sometimes does not carry a right intention.  In this Gospel Jesus alerts his disciples to not be asleep like many of their contemporaries who try to divert His message of Salvation for their own conveniences looking for recognition but with no sacrificing or devotion.  “This is why you should stay awake because the Son of Man will come when we least expect it”.