Sunday, December 1st, 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.
Paul admonishes us in Romans today:
“Now is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
And Jesus also admonishes us in today’s gospel (Mt. 24:37-44).
” Stay awake !
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. . . . .
You must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Now here’s my reflection:
Jesus wants us to be 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. We become complacent.
Many of us don’t want to be bothered thinking about or praying about the real issues
And thus, we go like lemmings over the cliff.
So tribulations loom. 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
chemical warfare/ cyber war
Stand erect! Face your fears with courage.
Do not fear the terror of the night (Psalm 91.)
This is 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.
Now here’s a song to get you in an Advent mood ~ an interesting take on the old hymn Soon and Very Soon by a young lady by the name of Brooke Fraser. Click here. Turn up your speakers since she has a soft voice.
As I do every Advent – Christmas, I will be publishing a new blog almost every day. So be sure to look for them and make a retreat for your self to counter the commercialism of this hectic season.
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When I was in AA many a year ago, we were taught a very simple form of prayer ~ to say “please” in the morning and “thank you” at night. What could be simpler and more heartfelt? Thanks is on my lips and in my heart whenever I can accomplish something that I need to do ~ usually after I’ve said “Please help me do this, Lord.” And that little conversation ‘ll take place several times a day.
So, for me, every day is a thanksgiving day! But I share here a little list of things I’m grateful for this year; it’s similar to last year’s list. A couple of things dropped off and some were added. I hope you’ll make your own gratitude list. And when you sit down for dinner on Thursday, why not take a moment to ask folks to first have a moment of silence to think of something that they’re especially thankful for this year. And then ask each of them if they’d like to share it. (The moment to think is important! Don’t skip it or else everybody will repeat what the last one said.)
Dear Friends / Dear God,
These are the things I am thankful for during 2013 . . .
(not in any particular order)
+ For my health
+ That I am able to pay my mortgage and my bills and put food on my table
+ My trusty burgundy Mitsubishi Eclipse Spider convertible that is great fun to drive
+ Realizing that I am a thinking / feeling / willing / imperfect human being
+ My weaknesses that make me depend on God for my strength
+ My talent for writing and photography
+ My dog Shoney who is just a lovely and loving little creature and a real blessing
+ The sun, the clouds, the flowers, the trees, the ducks and my lovely condo I enjoy every day
+ For the people I care for
+ For the people who care for me
+ My faithful Macbook Pro computer
+ The gift of contemplative prayer
+ For my Catholic faith and the gift of my priesthood
+ For our new Pope Francis who is bringing new hope and joy and great example to many
+ For the lives of friends that died this year who have touched me deeply
+ For You! my faithful readers
+ And finally, my loving relationship with my heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
” Rejoice always,
Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Now, before you go, here’s a beautiful slideshow with great music simply entitled “Thank You, God.” Click here. Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers.
And HAPPY HANUKKAH to our Jewish Sisters and Brothers that begins at sundown on Wednesday!