Last week’s Gospel reminded us to “stay awake and to keep alert.” In his homily Deacon Kerry quoted an anonymous author who said, “the most dangerous day of our lives comes when we learn the word tomorrow.” The challenge of doing our best to bring the christian message alive in our lives, and in the world we live in, is an awesome task. At times, no matter how alert we try to be, the problems of life seem overwhelming, and we just feel like isolating ourselves for a while and adopting the ‘mannana’ (tomorrow) way of coping. Sometimes we do need to step back, but this does not mean ‘turn off or ‘give up’.
This advent weekend, we once again hear John the Baptist’s stern call to repentance: “Repent for the Kingdom of God has come near.” (Jn.3:1) Are we alert, or have we drifted into the world of ‘mannana land’ where nothing can get through to disturb our little world? Jesus was relentless in disturbing those that had found comfort in this world, for it usually meant that they had lost their way. John the Baptist was harsh and just as disturbing: “You brood of vipers,” was the greeting the pharisees heard when they found him in the desert.
Advent is a time when we explore what it means to wait upon the Lord. We are a people awaiting the Lord’s return. How do we wait? Hopefully, we wait with alertness, and stubborn determination to do God’s will. If we wait in hope, believing that one day the ‘wolf will lie down with the lamb,’ (as Isaiah symbolically puts it), we will seek God’s ways, find comfort in prayer, and continue doing our best to prepare for the day when the Lord returns in Glory. May “the God of steadfastness and encouragement”(Rom.15) be with us, as we continue our journey through Advent to Christmas, and into the New Year 2008, until that day on which there is no sunset and no dawning.
Steve Warner gave this wonderful reflection on Sunday evening, December 2nd at St. Joseph Catholic Church in South Bend, IN. Steve is the first of three presenters who will be preaching God’s Word at Vespers during the season of Advent. This is the first of a two part series. You will be able to view second part by clicking the video selection at the bottom of your youtube screen.
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