Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Be Watchful! Be Alert!"

Jesus exhorts His disciples in today's Gospel to "Be Watchful! Be Alert!"  We, too, are exhorted to be watchful and alert as we prepare for the coming of Christ.  As we begin our journey this Advent, we are reminded, amidst shopping, cookie-baking, and holiday parties, that we are to prepare to celebrate the birth of Our Lord and to prepare for His Second Coming.  As St. Cyril of Jerusalem reminds us in a reading from today's liturgy of the hours,

We do not preach only one coming of Christ, but the second as well, much more glorious than the first.  The first coming was marked by patience; the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom....At the first coming he was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manager.  At his second coming he will be clothed in light as in a garment.  In the first coming he endured the cross, despising the shame; in the second coming he will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels.  We look then beyond the first coming and await the second. 

Today, our Holy Father, in his Angelus, also reminds us to "heed the message in today’s Gospel by entering prayerfully into this holy season, so that we may be ready to greet Jesus Christ, who is God with us."  As you start your Advent journey, take a moment to consider how you are preparing to meet Christ.  Renew your commitment to prayer this Advent, to corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and to living an authentically Christian life.

Resources for the First Sunday of Advent

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