If you’re new to this Advent blog, I recommend reading Welcome to Advent 2009 to get a sense of why we want to spend four weeks preparing for our Christmas celebration and how it can help you deepen your (our) spirituality whether you are a Catholic or even a Christian.
Sunday, November 29th begins the Advent season for the liturgical Christian churches. Funny enough, we begin at the end — thinking about THE END – the end of the world. The early Christians believed Jesus was coming “soon and very soon.” The early generation of Christians thought the end would come soon. Jerusalem fell in 70 CE but Jesus didn’t come. And funny still, there’s a movie out this weekend that has its own take that it’s gonna happy very soon — in 2012. Some think the world will end in 2012 because that’s when the Mayan calendar ends. It probably won’t.
Nevertheless, the movie and the gospel message at hand have a powerful point to make.
The Gospel (Luke 21:25-36) has Jesus say:
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength to escape
the tribulations that are imminent
and stand [erect and raise your heads]
before the Son of Man.”
Now here’s my reflection:
Vigilant / prepared / watchful / alert / aware / awake
knowing what’s happening
. . . but so many of us are asleep, Lord.
We tend to not recognize the signs of the times.
We often dull our senses / stay in our own little worlds.
Choosing not to care. Complacent.
Many don’t want to be bothered pondering or praying about the real issues
And thus, we go like lemmings over the cliff.
Tribulations. Fear. Threats
. . . of losing our job / having a lump in our breast /
losing health insurance because we lost our job
corruption on Wall Street and government
swine flu / chemical warfare/ cyber war
Stand erect. Face our fears with courage.
Do not fear the terror of the night (Psalm 91.)
That’s what Advent faith is all about:
Being vigilant. Being prepared for anything life throws at us.
Standing proudly humble or humbly proud no matter what.
That’s the kind of faith in life — in You, my God that I seek.
I want it. I ask you for it.
Today I consent to it.
Amen. So be it.
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Yours respectfully, dear readers,
priest / writer