First Sunday of Advent

advent-be-watchful-be-alert

Gospel:  Mark 13: 33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”

Reflection:

“Be Watchful! Be Alert!” is what we hear Jesus tell his disciples in today’s gospel.  In fact, it’s the first thing he says before laying out the rest of his command to remain prepared.  In the 21st century we are often distracted from what is actually happening around us.  A walk into a restaurant to find three people dining together only to see them each focused on their own cell phones instead of interacting with their environment or one another.  A child who might be seeking the attention of a parent only to be met with an iPad to watch.  Driving and texting, extremely loud music, multi-tasking, the list of distractions can go on.  If Jesus was addressing a 21st century group of followers he would say “Be Watchful! Unplug!” and maybe that’s what we need to be reminded as we enter this holy season of Advent – a season of preparation and reflection.  We can’t prepare or reflect if we’re not present in the moment.  If we’re distracted we can’t stay focused on doing what we need to do to fully embrace the challenge of this liturgical season.  In the midst of trees, lights, and wreaths already hanging in stores and in many of our communities we are called today to slow down, unplug, engage with one another and our environment, remain vigilant in prayer so we can adequately reflect on how we will need to spend the next four weeks to ready ourselves to welcome into our world God’s greatest gift, Christ the Lord.

Action Step:

Take some time today to “unplug” and reflect upon our spiritual preparation.   Engage yourself with your family members and members of your community.

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