“Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” The words from today’s Gospel remind us that we are always to be on guard, to always be prepared. Each year this period of time is set aside for us to take this opportunity to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord.
The opening words from our Lord Jesus Christ might make some of us feel a little uncomfortable because of its reference to the Second Coming. Why does this make us uncomfortable? Perhaps it is a fear of the unknown, or maybe because it makes us think of our own mortality. There is nothing comfortable about the word of God for if it is truly preached to its fullness there will be times in which it will make us truly feel uncomfortable. God’s love is expressed in many ways as we see in Sacred Scripture through His miracles, how He often related with others but there were certain times where His Words could pierce any heart. No one should ever become comfortable with their faith because the very moment they do is the moment we start slipping away from our Lord.
Our Lord will come again in glory but in the meantime we celebrate year after year His triumphant entrance into the world at Christmas as…a baby. Often times when we talk about the love of God we are quick to point out as we should the image of Christ crucified. However, we mustn’t forget this example of humility of our Lord and Savior entering the world as one of us. It is this coming of Christ we are preparing to celebrate in a few short weeks.
That leads us to ponder how we are preparing our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior. To prepare means to look ahead. Advent is a time of preparation a time in which we should always be on guard. One of the ways we prepare our hearts is by utilizing the Sacrament that often makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable, the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is such a great sacrament it is sad that it is often underutilized. The cause of its underutilization stems from several things but two I like to focus on a lack of an understanding of what sin is and the other is pride. These are the two ways in which the evil one attempts to drive us away from experiencing God’s love and mercy. First, everyone is afraid to address sin in our society out of fear of what others may think thus, leading each other down the wrong road. Our Lord calls us each to testify to the fullness of the truth, not half-truths! Then the last thing mentioned was pride. No one wants to admit today that they made a mistake and are wrong. Pride is so dangerous not only because it is one of the seven deadly sins but also because it causes us not to recognize the other sins in our lives.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever you do…don’t let the devil win! Prepare your hearts for the coming of our Savior. Yes we do not know the day or the hour, for the Lord said at the end of Gospel, “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” Advent is a time for prayerful preparation with that said may we utilize the words of our responsorial psalm for our meditation for the week, “Lord make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.” Keep those words and the message of Jesus Christ close in your hearts and minds.