Be watchful and cherish the spirit of Christmas!!!
To drive a motor-vehicle is an art. This art needs careful attention on the road. You might have observed few speed bumps (speed breaker) on the road. Drivers are required to be watchful of the speed bump. We might have also experienced that sometime drivers are not watchful. They just cross the speed bump without reducing their motor-vehicle speed. In this situation, they are not only violating the rule, but also damaging their motor-vehicle and harming themselves. Metaphorically speaking, we are the vehicle and the driver of a life. To live (driving) a good life is a blessing (art). The road is a Church and speed bumps are liturgical seasons. Each particular season is an invitation for us to slow down our speedy activities and see the goodness of the LORD around us.
In today’s liturgy of the Word, we find some hope-filled images and the promise, “the God of Jacob” will “teach us his ways” that we might “walk in the light of the Lord” in Isaiah 2: 3, 5 and Paul invites the faithful to “put on the armor of light” (Romans 13: 12), whereas Matthew is telling his audience to “be watchful or alert” for the “coming of the Son of Man” (24: 37, 39, 44). In all these situations, we are called to be hopeful and watchful/alert for the second coming of the Son of the Man. For the second coming of Jesus, we are called to be watchful (Matthew 24: 44) towards our spiritual condition and world events. This invitation of Jesus demands two things;
To pray: Prayer is a way of communication (Mark 1: 35). Jesus is inviting us to be watchful in our prayers because sometimes without realizing we can have spiritual pride like Pharisee “God, I thank you that I am not like other people…I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’” But we need to adopt the attitude of the tax collector “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”? (Luke 18: 9-14).” Our watchful attitude in prayer teaches us to be humble and discipline which leads to stand against a roaring lion (1 Peter 5: 8).
To repent: the act of repentance to accept our limitations and embrace God (Acts 3: 19). It is a way to encounter God who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2: 4). Our watchfulness in repentance leads us towards self-realization. This self-realization encourages to seek God forgives where God embraces us without any hesitation (Luke 15: 11-32). Our watchful repentance from sins brings temporal and eternal happiness (Psalm 122) in which God enters into our life and dine with us (Revelation 3:20).
Advent is an occasion to sink our spiritual roots deep and stretch out to God who is the source of all life (Psalm 1: 3, John 14: 6). Advent is not only a preparation to receive gifts, during Christmas, but it is the season of watching and taking delight in giving to others according to their need (Matthew 25: 35-37) . This first Sunday of Advent invites to drink deeply of the spiritual gift of the watchfulness and cherish within us the spirit of Christmas.