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Stay Awake! Be Prepared!


IMG_0057The First Sunday of Advent / November 27, 2016

Dear Friends,

Sunday, November 27th, 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.”  

Our Scripture scholar-friend William Barclay offers that no one knows the timing of the Second Coming, not the angels or even Jesus himself, but only God, and will come upon humankind with the suddenness of a rainstorm out of a blue sky.  Thus, speculation regarding the time  of the Second Coming, Barclay suggests, “is nothing short of blasphemy, for the man who so speculates is seeking to wrest from God which belong to God alone.  

He tells us these verses are a warning never to become so immersed in time or worldly affairs, however necessary, to completely distract us from God, and our life should be in his hands, and whenever his call comes, at morning, noon or night, it will find us ready.  

And these verses tell us that the coming of Christ will be a time of judgment, when he will gather to himself those who are his own.  ~ Barclay: The Gospel of Matthew ~ Volume 2, pp. 315-6.

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

global warming

corruption on Wall Street and government

a new president and Congress

uncertainty

Stand erect!   Face your fears with courage.

Be strong!

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.

For  all of today’s Mass readings Click here.

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 yourself to counter the commercialism of this hectic season.

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Have a wonderful Advent!

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

William Barclay / The Daily Study Bible Series / the Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2 ~ Revised Edition                                                 The Westminster Press, Philadelphia 1975

3 comments on “Stay Awake! Be Prepared!

  1. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.Father I have always enjoyed talking and being in your company it has always been a positive force in my life and in Rays also! It’s like when you read my message you knew exactly what to say to me. Love you Fr. Bob peace be with you!

  2. Fr Bob most of the time my life is so busy never ever getting everything finished because the next day it starts all over again from morning till night! At bed time i get caught with my cell then when I put it down I close my eyes slip into sleep without praying. It’s hard for me to talk to God because my life is boring I really have nothing to say because I really have nothing to look foward to. I do thank him for my health and thank him that I can move about! At this time I’m not going to mass but deb and I are saying our advent prayers readings and lighting our candles! I’m really enjoying them! Thank you fr for the emails! Always paula

    • Dear Paula, Your desire, our intention to pray is our prayer! So many of us lead lives that are boring and filled. day in day out, with the same old thing. It’s what’s in your heart that counts, Paula. You’ve been a faithful Catholic — trying your best — all of your life.
      God loves us as we are, Paula. We all just keep going somehow, some way. Just know that Jesus and his dear Mother love you very much.

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