Reflections - December 3, 2017

“What I say to you, I say to all:  Watch!  Mk. 13:37.
Today begins the new liturgical year on this first Sunday of Advent.  Three figures are highlighted at this time:  Isaiah, John the Baptist, and Mary, the full of grace.  It is a time when the evangelist Mark presents us with the end of times and the manifestation of a new style of life manifested in our God who uninstalls and becomes human to give dignity to human beings through His incarnation.
The Evangelist tells us that there may be two attitudes to His manifestation which is why He utilizes two words:  Being asleep and being awake”.
I would like to reflect with you what “being asleep” means according to God’s plan.  In the plan of salvation being asleep is the human being who makes plans outside of God’s “thinking that he or she controls all the events of his or her life, among them happiness”.  Of course to think about our future and the future of our family is logical.  But we must remember that God has the last word and that we have been created to be stewards of this small point in space called Earth.  We do not know when the Lord will visit us.  Maybe He will come in the evening of our life or in the dark night when the cares of the world, greed, honor, pride, make us live in the darkness of faith. 
Being awake in God’s plan means to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, His humility, “to deny oneself and take up the cross of every day life”.  If Jesus had not carried His Cross we would not be Christians.  There is an antidote that does not allow us to “be asleep”.  The antidote is prayer, which makes us conquer ourselves and makes us choose Jesus and be awake for His visit so that we may love and serve Him better.
May the Immaculate Virgin Mary always keep us awake in anticipation of the arrival of her Son without fearing His closeness.  That she may help keep us awake watching and hoping that His blissful and protective arrival will strengthen us in faith, hope, and charity in our family and in our community.  Amen.