1st Sunday of Advent – Spiritual Reflection
“So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”
- How do we stay awake?
or perhaps the question is:
There was a family sitting around the table at Thanksgiving. A number of years ago they started a custom that they would go around the table and instead of “Grace Before Meals,” every person would say one thing for which they were thankful. People gave thanks for new jobs, new marriages, new children, health, friends …..
God was not mentioned until the 15th person.
The dad to whom I was speaking who told the story said that his first reaction was, “Duh!” It was such a poignant moment. It was Thanksgiving. Family was around the table “giving thanks.” Nothing was immoral. Everything that they mentioned was good. Like the Gospel, “They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” But on a day where football is a big part, God was not “drafted” until the 15th round!
So he asked, “What caused us to fall asleep?”
As Catholics, when we are baptized the priest “makes the sign of the cross on the forehead” of the new baby and asks the “parents and the godparents to do the same.” The child became a child of its parents. As such the child will soon learn to take orders. We are children of Christ. We are also “under orders.” And when Christ gives the orders, it sometimes takes us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes Christ takes us out of the comfort zone to shake up our complacency.
But is it also possible that sometimes, especially during the season of Advent, Christ takes us out of the comfort zone to show us His care, His love, His blessing, His grace – ABOUT WHICH WE SEEM BLISSFULLY UNAWARE?
We read in Romans 13:11, “For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” During this Advent season we are called to “stay awake!” We are “under orders” to be looking, or perhaps better, “noticing” God where we didn’t see him before. Maybe in interesting ways.
To close with a story. For years it drove me crazy to see Christmas decorations out WAY too early. It seems that the tinsel begins to appear during the “Back-To-School” sales in September. I was lamenting this fact recently when a woman said. “Well, it’s just another opportunity to think about and say “Merry Christmas” to the cashier even earlier than before. It presents an opportunity for ‘giving grace’ to others.”
And there I am saying “Duh!” Another lesson in humility.