I can’t believe a whole year has gone by! It seems like only yesterday we were lighting the Advent candle and listening to the Scripture readings for the first Sunday of Advent. When I was a young boy, Advent was a time when we fasted and prayed as we awaited the coming of the Light of the World, Jesus Christ! The good sisters made sure we did some kind of penance. We collected money for the poor and the sisters reminded us that, even though none of us had a lot of money, there were those in this world who were worse off than we were. Even Town Hall had a nativity set on the front lawn. The manger of course was empty… Jesus wouldn’t be here till December 25th.
We did all of these things to prepare for the coming of Jesus. And that’s pretty much what the Gospel from Matthew 24:37-44 is telling us to do. It sounds a little harsh that some will be taken away and others will not, but this is Matthew’s way of trying to tell us that we must be ready because we do not know when we will be called back to our Father in heaven. Jesus says “Therefore stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”
There is no need for us to get melancholy or worry about this. All we need to do is put ourselves in the state of continual grace with God. That means getting to reconciliation on a regular basis, praying every day, coming to Mass, and receiving Holy Communion at least weekly. It might even be a good time to do a little bit of sacrifice. Perhaps you could be nice to someone you don’t like. Give up meat on one Friday this Advent. Really listen when someone speaks to you!
I’m sure you know many ways you can prepare to have Jesus more fully in your life. The challenge of course is to do it!
Peace and All Good!
Happy Advent! There are some very nice reflection booklets and pamphlets in the Narthex of the church. Please take advantage of these offerings. There will be a community penance service in the Main church @ 7:00 PM on December 3rd all are welcome. We will have a number of priests available so things should move along smoothly.