O God, You have chosen the apostles to make disciples of all nations and by baptism and confirmation have called all of us to build up Your Holy Church.
e have entered into the season of Christmas, and it is the First Week of Advent. Santa has made his appearance in all cities, towns and villages and in malls throughout the country. We are preparing to celebrate that great day, Christmas, the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ.
For us Catholics, the season of Advent teaches us the philosophy and theology of waiting. During this season, we join our ancestors in waiting for the Lord to be born. As people of post-Nativity era, we also wait for the Lordís second coming at the end of time; or if we do not live that long, we prepare to meet Him at the end of our time on earth. This second coming is the theme of our readings for this weekend.
In the second reading we find St. Paul reminding the Thessalonians by saying: "Wait for the Lord, in a way that is pleasing to God, by living out the instructions you have received."
In the Gospel, we find, "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap."
"So stay awake" and "Be ready" are the themes of First Sunday of Advent. How are we to be ready? Perhaps we can take a cue for our Advent preparation from the little ones.
Right now they are busy making their lists to send to Santa. So we should also make our lists; if not on papers, let us at least have it in our minds. Our lists will show what we really need, and what we need to do to bring it into reality.
First of all we need to ask ourselves: "Am I patient enough to wait?"
This is an age of speed. We all look for instant gratification, and instant expressions. So let us try to understand waiting as a quality we need to have, more than a time period. Since we are too busy and too fast, we lose the quality of life. We do not have time to go deeper into the reality, or we donít have time even to perceive things properly. As we go faster, we lose perception and this shows our quality of our expressions too.
Can we take some decision during this advent, to slow down a bit?
Sit in meditation at least for 30 minutes to an hour each day. Find some time to spend quality time with the family: your children and your spouse. Do I go to church on Sundays with family? How can I abstain from my laziness? Can I break from my addictions: drinking, smoking, video games, or spending too much time on electonic devices? We all know what should be our lists.
I hope at the second coming the Lord will examine our lists and see what we have done to bring each item into a reality. Let us try to make it a happy visit.
Let us pray: Lord help us to stay awake and be ready always for your visit; and give the joy and peace of your visit to all who meet in our lives.