Skip to main content

Advent is Here - Are You Awake?

Advent: the four Sundays before Christmas when we prepare and open our hearts for Christ's birth in the world.

The readings at Mass this first weekend encourage us to Wake Up, Stay Awake, Rejoice and Walk in the Light of the Lord!  Isaiah prophesies a vision of "end times," not a bleak time of chaos, rather an opportunity for the world to be transformed for good. An end time in which we receive instruction and Wisdom from God that brings about peace between the nations, peace within all peoples.

Matthew 24:42 - Stay Awake - Advent is HerePsalm 122 calls us to go Rejoicing, while in Romans, St. Paul reminds us that when we know Christ, we are changed forever. Everything we learn brings us closer to Him and we cannot go back to being who we were before. We are excited by this message, because the time is now; we must awaken from our sleep, rouse our drowsy hearts, throw off the darkness, and shine in the light and peace of the world.
Yes
Finally, Matthew's gospel recounts Jesus' own words commanding us to Stay Awake. Don't be caught by surprise, as the world was during the cleansing flood of Noah's era. Be awake, be prepared, be at peace - for we who know Christ in our hearts know what we must do in our lives. We know that peace starts with us. In our words. In our actions. In our love.

But the world wears at us, beats on us, entices us, lulls us to rest, to lay down, to set Christ's work aside, and to succumb to sleep again.

Practical Ways to Live the Readings

This first week of Advent, we look for practical ways to live these readings throughout the whirlwind of our busy lives. For example, Isaiah talks about climbing the mountain of God to receive His instruction. God's wisdom isn't passively given to us, but requires our purposeful action - climbing the mountain. We can live that by making time to be in the presence of God. It can be as simple as reading Scripture daily, participating in a Bible Study, reading a new book to learn more about your faith, or attending adoration or a daily Mass. Just one of these will help you stay awake and centered during Advent.

We can Rejoice through prayer by praying daily, such as saying the Our Father while going about your daily work, meditating on a decade (or more) of the Rosary, being thankful for our many blessings with our kids at the dinner table. However you pray, the Psalm 122 reminds us to pray for unity where there is discord, in our families and community. We confidently pray that Christ will bring peace to all.

When St. Paul calls us to Awaken and throw off the darkness, we pause to examine our lives and consider how, as followers of Christ, we actively live that out loud. Do we complain about circumstances or do we seek to find - or be - a solution. Seek loving answers. Extend a hand of friendship to others. Pay it forward.

Lastly, the command to Stay Awake! In every choice you make, you are choosing whether that action turns your heart toward God or away from God. When you chose to pray, you are turning toward God. When you put down your phone and pay attention to the person across from you, you are turning toward God. Jesus reminds us to be consciously aware of our daily interactions, so look for daily opportunities to turn away from a selfish action and turn instead toward a serving action, reflecting God's love which in turn brings peace.

Advent starts these weeks of preparation with a call to Stay Awake. Be mindful. 
Be purposeful in...
                     Seeking...
                     Knowing...
                     Expecting...... Christ.

For every day of our lives is a day closer to our salvation.





Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Catholic Children's Bibles

How do you select a Catholic Children's Bible?  Which children's bible is best for my kids?  Those are questions I get asked all the time.  Searching in my house I discovered almost a dozen different Catholic Bibles for kids or youth on our shelves. When looking for a children's bible or book of bible stories for children, there are several things to take into consideration.  How old is the child?  Do you want something easy to read in story form or a bible with scripture text?  How big or heavy is the book? Is the children's bible a keepsake to commemorate a special event like a baptism, first communion or confirmation? And the answers to these questions might change as the child grows and develops or you have multiple children. With those questions in mind, I'll delve into the Catholic Children's Bibles and Bible Stories we like best of those in our home. My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories Compiled by Hei

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that