The First Sunday of Advent Mark. 13:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake. So, stay awake because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; If he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’
Journeying with the Gospel Steps:
1. We read the Gospel passage several times to become familiar with the past event it describes. Where it took place? When it took place. Who was involved? What happened back then?
2. In Meditation we allow the passage to put us in touch with similar events in our lives and in our world today, in our personal relationships, in family life, workplace, in church community, society or world – until we come to see God’s presence and activity to be as real in “today’s events” as in the “past events,
3. Spontaneously we are moved to a prayer of thanksgiving, or repentance or petition or all three.
Can you remember an experience in life where the Master “had gone from home,” -: a time of sickness, affliction, loss or failure when God seemed to be absent and it had been quite a struggle to keep faith, to remain faithful to your responsibilities, to keep your hope alive, to “stay awake” for the Master’s promised return? Lord help us to trust in you.
Can you identify the “doorkeepers” in your own families, parish communities, school, workplace and society, whose role it has been to “stay awake”, to be a sign and reminder to the rest of the household not to give up hope and to trust that God is coming to save us. Thank you, Father, for all the doorkeepers in our lives and for how they keep our hope alive.
Can you look around at the activities associated with this time of year –: greetings cards, the Christmas gift tree, carol singing, visits to nursing homes, outreach to the weak and vulnerable and see in them an echo of the voice which exhorts us to “stay awake” to the possibility of the coming of God’s kingdom of justice, peace and harmony. Lord help us to keep the dream alive this Advent.