First Sunday of Advent
"Stay awake!" We begin our new year in the Church with these words.
How apt for our world today with the many distractions, with the busy-ness that keeps us moving 24 /7! We may not actually be sleeping, but we certainly need to get the wake up call. We have numbed our souls with so many other activities, that we are, in today’s vernacular "out of it!" Matthew calls us to stop and be aware. This is our wake up call. Stop! Listen! Learn the ways of the Lord. Climb the Lord’s mountain, walk in His path. Prepare…
I am struck by the many contrasts in today’s readings. A God who wipes out most of humanity in the great flood; a God who is warning his people that there is a 50/50 chance they won’t make it in the last days, but then we hear this God tell us through Isaiah that swords will be turned into plowshares; that all peoples shall stream toward the mountain of the Lord! That there will be no more war! And if that isn’t enough, God calls us to get ready because he is going to send His Son to save us!
And so, we stay awake and we prepare…we get ready for the coming of our Savior, we get ready for the judgment day, we get ready for the Kingdom. We get ready by following Jesus, by doing whatever we can to bring about a better world.
How are you preparing this Advent? Perhaps you will stop and listen to the Word. Perhaps you will do something to help "turn swords into plowshares." Perhaps you will find ways to stop the insanity that has become the way our culture celebrates Christmas.
As we begin Advent, a time that has not yet seen the Promise fulfilled, we prepare to continue in a world that does not yet recognize the hope of the promise and we prepare our hearts for the coming of Our Savior. And we remind ourselves that God wants us to stay awake, to stop and listen.
May you be blessed with many graces during this Advent season!
Mary Lou Butler ([email protected])is the administrator of Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, California.