Sunday Readings: Isaiah 2.1-5; Romans 13.11-14; Matthew 23.37-44
“Be sure of this: If the owner of the house knew when the thief was coming he or she would keep a watchful eye and not allow the house to be broken into. You must be prepared in the same way. The Son of Man is coming at a time you do not know.” – Matthew 24.43-44
The 1st Sunday of Advent begins the Church year with a focus on Jesus’ second coming, an event that seems even farther off to us today than to the Christians for whom Matthew wrote two millennia ago. The parable above makes clear a thief depends on the homeowner’s forgetfulness. To not miss God’s comings, Jesus cautions to keep a watchful eye. Staying awake spiritually means paying attention–living, loving, remembering consciously. We celebrate liturgies in our churches that help us appreciate God’s presence and gifts in our lives. We celebrates rituals in many other places–tucking a child in bed every night, honoring birthdays with cake and memories, gathering in times of sorrow.
Advent leads us toward the birth of God in human flesh, an emptying of divine prerogative and a privileging our human capacity to heal, share, forgive, reconcile, free, accompany. We are pregnant with Spirit and in labor in our world to bring God’s kin*dom to birth among us. Now is the time to live like Jesus. Now is the moment to feed the hungry, to forgive those we really love, to restore depressed spirits to joy. Now is the time to watch birds eating the seeds of last summer’s blooms and fruit, and to let “I love you” and “I’m proud of you” no longer go unsaid.
What gifts has God given me to share?
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