In the season of Advent the Church puts before us a number of readings which have us reflect on the end times when Christ comes again. Today’s reading on this first Sunday of Advent see’s Jesus giving clear advice to his disciples – ‘Stay awake!’, ‘Always be ready!’
These rather ominous sounding words ring out clearly reminding us that we are not just preparing in this Advent Season to remember the coming of the Christ Child in the stable of Bethlehem nearly 2000 years ago, but also to remember that ‘He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,’ as we say each week in the Creed.
What does it mean though for us to stay awake? Sure, we must always try to have our own house in order, to make every effort to remain in the state of grace through frequent recourse to the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist. But along with this we need to be prepared to meet Christ in his intermediary coming in our daily prayer, in our frequent interactions with those around us, with those in need, whether that be physical emotional, spiritual or something else.
Jesus exhorts us to stay awake and be ready to meet him in the people and in the situations where we are often most uncomfortable.
How can I take time out this Advent to get my own house in order so to speak, to ready myself for Jesus’ coming again?
Am I awake to those around me who are in need?
Have I taken time out to pray this week?
How can I wake myself up this Advent to be ready for Christ’s second coming?