NOV. 29. ADVENT. WK 1. SUN. (B) Mk 13:33-37
Updated: Mar 31
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake. So, stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’
As we enter into Advent, we have to be conscious of the fact that this season had its origins in the Old Testament before the birth of Christ Our Redeemer, who had been promised to God’s People for centuries via the Prophets.
This means the Advent Season preceded the written Gospels and so the Gospel readings are not as relevant to the season as are the Old Testament readings, however the message of the Prophets is always in accord with the Gospels so they can still be used to assist us to prepare for the coming Christmas Season.
This is borne out in today’s Gospel: “Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come” are the words spoken by Christ thirty years after his birth, but this same message was proclaimed by the Prophets for centuries as they sought to have God’s people prepare for the arrival of their redeemer!
“Prepare the way of The Lord, make straight a path for him” is a saying from the prophet Isaiah and Christ continues to give us the same message, as does his Church today, as it seeks to have us prepare for the Christmas Season, which remains a Time of Grace for those who take their Faith seriously.
The Advent period, in the 21st century, offers us an ‘invitation” to grow in love; - and to walk away from pride, self-love and sin, and heed the teachings and message of Christ. Just as the God’s people, in the Old Testament had to “repentu” of their sins, so do we!
“Stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’
While in the Old Testament this message was applied to the promised arrival of a redeemer; - for us the exact same message is applied in relation to the approaching Christmas season, where Christ will reveal to us the changes we need to make in our lives; - if we wish to be ready to meet God at his final ‘coming’!
The prayer to God from today’s liturgy expresses the same goal of the Advent Season, namely:
“Grant your faithful, we pray, Almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom”; - both here on earth, and also with you in eternal life!