Awake in this season of Advent
Sunday, December 3, 2017 1st Sunday of Advent 1st Reading: Isaiah 63:16-17,19; 64:2-7 2nd Reading: 1st Corinthians 1:3-9 Gospel: Mark 13:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples, “Be alert and watch, for you don’t know when the time will come. When a man goes abroad and leaves his home, he puts his servants in charge, giving to each one some responsibility; and he orders the doorkeeper to stay awake. So stay awake, for you don’t know when the Lord of the house will come, in the evening or at midnight, when the cock crows or before dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him catch you asleep.
“And what I say to you, I say to all: watch.”
(Daily Gospel in the
Advent opens another Liturgical calendar with this warning: “Be alert and watch, for you don’t know when the time will come.” Which time? It could either be the time that ends this finite world, or the time that ends our life, whichever comes first. The latter is more likely to come first. Thus it is beneficial for us to interpret today’s Gospel warning as referring to our death.
How untimely to talk about death when most people are excited about the coming of Christmas. Isn’t the month of November that begins with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day enough to think about death? No, it is not enough. Death is so unpredictable that it is wise to reflect upon it often and be prepared for it all the time. Death chooses no season. It comes when least expected. The Gospel likens death to a thief. This is even an understatement. In light of the utter loss that death can inflict upon unprepared people, death is a devastating thief. Considering the fact that it steals not just material property but one’s very soul, death is a big-time thief!
It is never untimely then to think about death in this Season of Advent. Advent is even the most appropriate time to prepare for death. This is because Christ whose coming is ritualized each Christmas could come for real in the incident of death. Our vigilance finds perfect symbolism in the four candles of the advent wreath which we light a Sunday at a time starting this Sunday. These represent the four Sundays preceding Christmas. The color is violet to symbolize repentance. The candle colored pink is lighted on the third Sunday to symbolize the growing intensity of our expectation as the end of preparation nears. Our vigilance should consume us in good works much as candles are consumed while giving light to the world.
Advent is too short, as short as life itself. How bad if we let the days go by without making substantial preparations. The Gospel has given us the appropriate warning. Forewarned is forearmed! –(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M., Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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