First Sunday of Advent
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come… May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. Luke 13:33, 37
As Advent begins we are forcefully exhorted, as we are each year, to stay awake and be ready! When we think about Jesus coming back at the end of time, we generally think it will be a long time from now and most of us don’t even consider that He could return during our lifetime. But you never know! He said that no one knows the day or the hour, so it is possible that we will see His return. If He comes back tomorrow, will we be ready?
Even if Jesus doesn’t come back for a very long time, today might be the day that you or I die. Are you ready to meet God? I have been longing for heaven for quite a while now, and I just read a book that makes me even more excited for the day when I will go home. It’s called Imagine Heaven by John Burke. It is a fantastic read which I highly recommend.
So, how do we make sure we are prepared for our final day here on earth? You probably already know these things, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of the basics.
- Begin and end your day in prayer, making time to listen, not just talk. Keep bringing your heart and thoughts back to the Lord throughout the day.
- Read Scripture daily. Invite the Holy Spirit to teach and inspire you as you read. Be open and believe that God will speak to you through His Word.
- Receive the Sacraments. Daily Mass is the greatest treasure we have as Catholics. Just as our physical bodies require food each day, our spirits need to be fed and nourished by Jesus in the Eucharist.
- Hold all things lightly. This world is passing away. Cling to things that will last forever.
Our former pastor in Beaverton, Oregon shared these words recently: “Pray! Read the Bible! Confess your sins! Live in truth! Bring beauty and a positive spirit wherever you go! Jesus is Lord – and He alone can fill the center of our lives and our world with peace.”
If we cling to Jesus we will be ready!
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Bainbridge Island, Washington, and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Janice also leads women’s retreats and recently published her second book: God IS with Us. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicecarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected].