Well, we’re several days into Advent… the season of “waiting”…. waiting for the 2nd coming of Christ and also anticipating the celebration of the historical birth of Jesus. The early readings focus on being ready…ready that Christ’s next coming, whether at the time of our death or his 2nd coming to the earth, doesn’t catch us asleep…. doesn’t catch us unprepared.
The readings over the recent days are the proverbial “wake up calls”… no minced words, not a lot of subtlety, straightforward. Listen to these:
- Jesus warns us, “Beware your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life… be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)
- St. Paul warns us, “it is the hour for you to awake from sleep…our salvation is nearer than when we first believed…. make no provisions for the desires of the flesh”(Rom. 13:11-14)
- Jesus again tells us “ be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” (Mt. 24:37-44)
- “In Advent, the church becomes very dramatic….wake up…get up out of this torpor, this stupor…. wake up…now is the time to rise from the spiritual sleepiness, from the same old dreary infidelities, the same wastefulness, the same old idling paths, the same old petty self-indulgences…wake up.” (Mother Mary Francis of Our Lady, Magnificat, 11-27-22)
In the army, “any sentinel or look-out who is found drunk or sleeping upon his post, or leaves it before he is regularly relieved, shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct…” The punishment is so severe because the consequence of “falling asleep in time of peril” is so great.
The church is trying to cause us to be aware that the peril is great for us if we fall asleep….therefore, WAKE UP!!!
So, how do we stay awake? Physically, drink a lot of coffee, walk around, pinch yourself, lower the temperature, stay hydrated, etc. How about staying spiritually awake? Jesus gives us some hints in Luke 12. “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour.” (Luke 12:38-40) Jesus reminds us of what’s at stake.
Lord wake us up out of our stupor so we do recognize what’s at stake….”everything is at stake”. There can be no days off…no “mailing in” our love and service. Help us to be on our toes, all the time. When we do fall asleep, help us to get back on track quickly. We all fail at times… but pray to recover quickly.
May this be our best Advent ever. May we always be ready.
2 thoughts on “Wake Up !!!”
Thanks for the strong words to begin Advent! There’s so much to Advent than shopping and baking!! Thanks for the focus👀🤓🙏