Readings: Isa. 2:1-5; Romans 13: 11-14; Matthew 24: 37-44.
Once again Advent is upon us- when the Church offers us a time to prepare for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord on December 25 (i.e. Christmas). While for many people this time of year seems frantic with many things to do, for others this ‘season of joy’ brings upon feelings of depression, loneliness, and even loss. Advent calls us to keep our focus on Christ while trying to be a comfort to others.
Advent has often been portrayed as a journey, when we, as Church, travel to the great celebration of Christmas. Think about any long journey you have ever taken usually it means getting up early, waking up, and setting out on the highway (hopefully before ‘rush hour’). This is precisely how we are asked to begin our Advent journey as St. Paul and Matthew both call us to WAKE UP. What a great reminder for our Advent journey!
Most of the time in our day-to-day lives habits dominate and, while this is normal and natural (who wants to ponder every morning the benefits and drawbacks of the first cup of coffee??), routine can block us from reflection on life, our relationships, and God’s action in our midst. Advent reminds us to wake up and concretely this means giving ourselves time for prayer, reflection and to listen to the Holy Spirit. Not an easy task in our hectic life with cell phones buzzing and so much work to do, but necessary, if only for a short period every day. This might require us to have a short period of ‘fasting from electronic devices’ or less time with the television each day or even transforming our daily commute into a time for prayer. Prayer and reflection are not distractions from the real world but a way to sharpen our awareness of God, the needs of those around us and our own inner longings.
Wake up! A call from today’s readings is not just another thing to put on our “To-Do List” but a reminder that as humans we need to reflect and listen to God as well as prepare our hearts for the upcoming celebration of the birth of Christ as a human being.
Mission Doctors are quite awake to the suffering of others and use their talents to help heal. Please support them in prayer and donation during this Advent season.
Br. John Kiesler, OFM