“Jesus is coming soon. Look busy!”

Look busy!  Looking busy would certainly be one way of describing many of us at the start of Advent. We are busy.  And we will likely get busier as Christmas day approaches – busy with shopping, card- writing, parties – all that goes into preparing for Christmas.  But it is not busyness that the prophet Isaiah had in mind when, in the first reading he says of God, “You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways.”  Isaiah give us a clue to how we should be acting during Advent and, indeed, throughout the entire liturgical year that begins this weekend – doing right, remembering God and God’s ways.  Be watchful! Be alert!  On the gospel of the apostle Mark we are called this Advent to be watchful, to be prepared, and to recognize the signs of the times.  Advent urges us to “stay awake” and not to sleep through the opportunities life gives us to discover God in our midst.  Advent calls us to “watch,” to pay attention to the signs of God’s unmistakable presence in our lives, to live life expectantly not as a death sentence but as a gift from God.  We begin a new liturgical year at the end of time.  Jesus’ brief parable of the master’s return is a call to realize the trust God has placed in us in the present to create his kingdom of justice and peace to transcend all time.  Jesus counters the conventional fears of the apocalypse with “signs” of hope and new beginnings.  Our lives are an Advent, a prelude, to the life of God to come.  While confronting us with the reality that our lives are finite and fragile, these Sundays of Advent also assure us of the mercy of God, who is with us in the midst of all the struggles of our everyday Advent journey to the dwelling place of God.  Advent challenges us to see our lives not as a disjointed set of experiences and circumstances but as a pilgrimage to the dwelling place of God – a journey in which every moment, every step is a new revelation of God’s presence in our midst.  God is both the road and the destination of our pilgrimage.

 

Have a blessed Advent!

Deacon Modesto Cordero