Stay Awake! Be Prepared!

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The First Sunday of Advent / December 1st, 2019

Dear Friends,

On Sunday, December 1st we begin the Advent season for the liturgical Christian churches. Interestingly 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 lays it out for us: No one knows the timing of the Second Coming, not the angels or even Jesus himself, but only God; it 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 that which belong to God alone.  

He tells us these verses are a warning that we must never become so immersed in time that we forget about eternity or worldly affairs, however necessary, as to completely distract us from God. If our life is in his hands, 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 ~ to be watchful ~ alert ~ aware ~ awake

He wants us to know 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 swirling around us.

And thus, we go like lemmings over a 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

Fears about the upcoming election or the possible impeachment ot the president

uncertainties of all kinds.

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  “Come. Lord, Maranatha.” Click here.

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.

+ + + + +

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

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.

+ + + + +

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

Advent Day 1 2014 ~ Stay on the Watch! Be prepared!

Dear Friends,
Sunday, November 30th 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.

The first reading from Isaiah is a wonderful piece of prose . . .

  You have delivered your face from us  and delivered us up to our guilt.

  Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work or your hands.  (Is. (64 6-7.)

(You can find the entire passage and the other Mass readings by clicking the  link at the bottom of the page.)

 Jesus  admonishes us in today’s gospel (Mk 13:33-37) . . .

“Be watchful! Stay alert!  You do not know when the time will come.  

What I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Jesus himself does not know the day nor the hour, only the Father. Be wary of those who claim that the do! We live in the shadow of eternity.  Day by day, we turn to our work and tend to the needs of our family, In time, then, we will be prepared when the Lord decides to take us to himself.  As I learned in third grade when I memorized the catechism question, Why did God make me?  The answer was and is so simple, “to know, love him and serve him in this world and to be happy with in the next.”

Yes, we should 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’re complacent, Lord.
Many don’t want to be bothered pondering or praying about the real issues.
We’re into Cyber Monday bargains and wowed by the latest iphone.

But deep down we are fearful and anxious, caused by threats
. . . of losing our job / having a lump in our breast /
losing health insurance because we lost our job.

Global warming / Ferguson /
corruption on Wall Street and government
the ebola epidemic / ISIS / cyber war.

“Stand erect,” the Gospel says.

Face your fears with courage.
Be strong!
Don’t 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!

+ + + + +
There will  be fresh blog posts  (God willin’ n’ the creek don’t rise) most every day of Advent till Christmas.

Why not make this Christmas season a special one for you ~ a meaningful one?

Now before you go, here’s a song to get you in an Advent mood from Godspell. Click here – enter full screen and turn up your speakers.  And as Tiny Tim would say, God bless you, everyone.  But that’s getting a little ahead of ourselves.

(Here are today’s Mass Click here.)

With love,
Have a wonderful Advent!
Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

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Advent Day 1 2011 ~ Stay on the Watch! Be prepared!

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.

The first reading from Isaiah is a wonderful piece of prose.

  You have delivered your face from us  and delivered us up to our guilt.

  Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work or your hands.                                  (Is. (64 6-7.)                                                                                                                                       

(You can find the entire passage and the other Mass readings by clicking the  link at the bottom of the page.)

 Jesus  admonishes us in today’s gospel (Mk 13:33=37):

“Be watchful! Stay alert!  You do not know when the time will come.  

What I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Yes, we should 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’re complacent, Lord.
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.

Global warming / debt crisis / election season
corruption on Wall Street and government
swine flu / chemical warfare/ cyber war.

Standing erect. Facing our fears with courage.
Being strong!
Not fearing 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!

+ + + + +
There will  be fresh blog posts  (God willin’ n’ the creek don’t rise) each day of Advent till Christmas.

Why not make this Christmas season a special one for you — a meaningful one?

 You can subscribe to the blog and the link will appear right in your email inbox. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page where it says “Email subscription.” Fill in your email address.  You can unsubscribe at anytime.  Thanks!
All the best,
Have a wonderful Advent!
Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

Now before you go, here’s a song to get you in an Advent mood from Godspell.  Click here – enter full screen and turn up your speakers.  And as Tiny Tim would say, God bless you, everyone.  But that’s getting a little ahead of ourselves.

(Here are today’s Mass: click here.)

Share this:
StumbleUpon
Dig