First Sunday of Advent, Dec. 3, 2017
IS 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7; 1 COR 1:3-9; MK 13:33-37
Reflection by Kevin J. Wangler
Black Friday – which started on a Tuesday – is over. Cyber Monday – which started on a Saturday and lasted another week – is done. Christmas is coming, with Santa and presents and family gatherings and food and football and and and… but first, we have an important time of watchfulness: Advent.
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear Jesus imploring his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert!” Not long after this, in Gethsemane, Jesus tells the apostles the same thing, and they literally fall asleep. If Jesus couldn’t motivate the apostles in person, what hope do we have a couple millennia later, when Jesus sometimes seems so far away?
We do a good job being alert to sales and snatching up Black Friday deals. We certainly don’t struggle with watching TV, our computers, and our phones. Let’s make this Advent a time when we strengthen our other, more important watching abilities.
On this first Sunday of Advent, let us pray: Lord, we repeatedly fail to stay awake. You encourage us, you direct us: “stay awake!” but we struggle, succumbing time and time again as our eyes shut. Today, help us stay awake, alert, and always watchful. You are coming – we desire more than anything to be ready.