Saturday, November 29, 2014

11-30-2014 -- 1st Sunday of Advent, Year B

November 30, 2014 - 1st Sunday of Advent, Year B

We have a sense of urgency about the coming of Christmas. We are very much aware of all the things we need to get done between now and Christmas Day.

And we wonder how in the world are we going to accomplish it all. We know we will have to franticly rush to get everything done.

During this Advent Season our task is to have the same sense of urgency about the coming of the Lord Jesus. We should be remaining alert, watching for Jesus to come to us.

This urgency should consume us, our whole selves, our entire beings.

Jesus calls us to watch, to wait, to be attentive with all our senses, with our souls, with everything we are.

So that if Jesus should come in the evening, at midnight or at the break of dawn, he would find us alert and awake ready to great him when he arrives.

If we are watching with our whole beings, with our very lives, then we will recognize Jesus, present to us each and every day of our lives.

We can and do get lost in the darkness of sin and despair. It seems, at times, that Jesus is very far away, on a journey.

So we get lax. We figure we have plenty of time. The result: we forget about being prepared for the Lord’s coming. We are not ready for Jesus to return at any time.

We really should take some time during this Advent Season to watch, to see with our eyes, to hear with our ears and smell with our noses, to taste with our mouths and touch with our hands the King, the Master, the Lord Jesus.

To see with our eyes: We see the Christmas decorations and they delight us. Do we also see Christ in the face of our brothers and sisters who are hurting and in need?

To listen with our ears: We listen to the Christmas music and it soothes us. Do we also listen for the voice of Christ? At times that voice speaks to us in prayer. At other times that voice speaks to us through the prophets.

To smell with our noses: We smell the aroma of the Christmas trees. Do we also smell the sweetness of incense and the melting wax of the candles, the distinct smell of this holy place, which tells us God is present, God is faithful?

To taste with our mouths: We delighted at the Thanksgiving meal we shared with loved ones. We will feast again at Christmas, a feast of rich foods and choice wines.

Do we also taste the Lord in Holy Communion? As the psalmist says, do we taste and see that the Lord is good?

To hold with our hands: We hold and embrace our sick and dying loved ones. With wonder, we hold a newborn child. Do we also hold the sacred body and blood of Jesus that we receive in the Eucharist?

Pope Francis has called us to have a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Can we open ourselves to this possibility?

We pause amidst the frenzy of our Christmas shopping to light a single candle. It’s flame reminds us that God is faithful. God is here. Right here, right now.

Are we watchful for the many ways that God is faithfully present?
Whether it be the kindness of a stranger, or the love of family, or the phone call to one in need, or the visit to the sick or elderly.

There are thousands of ways that God is with us each and every day of our lives.

If we would only stay awake, watch, wait, be alert and pay attention, we would see God’s presence all around us.

There is an urgency about the coming of Christmas.
There should also be an urgency about the coming of Christ.

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