First Sunday of Advent 2016

Today we stand at the beginning of one of the most precious but least used seasons of the year.  Advent.  The season of our preparation.  We are even more blessed in a particular way this year, because Advent this year is a full 4 weeks.  Four full weeks to take this season to heart. 

          And our scriptures this weekend outline exactly what it is that we need to be doing – Awake from sleep – stay awake – be prepared. 

          We tend to do that very well when it comes to less important things like black Friday shopping, and decorating the house, and finding the perfect Christmas sweater.  That stuff will all come together, as it always does. 

          But we know that we also need to be about something much more important this season – preparing for the coming of Jesus.  Not only the coming of the baby Jesus, but also the Second coming of Jesus that we hear of in our Gospel. 

          Are we ready? I could rattle through a checklist of things to calculate whether or not we are ready – or I could just get to the point – we ain’t ready yet.  Because we haven’t prepared as Jesus tells us to prepare. 

          We have so many opportunities this season to allow ourselves to be open to Jesus – to truly prepare – to enter into this season in prayer and sacrifice and penance so that we put into action the words of Paul in our Second Reading today:  to throw off the works of darkness in our lives, to conduct ourselves properly, not in orgies or drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy – but rather to put on Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. 

          So what can we do? Come to adult ed on Tuesday nights, come to the Advent Dinner, come to Lessons and Carols, come to confession 12 extra hours of it - come to daily mass once a week or more (it only lasts 17 minutes) - the readings for daily Mass truly are the best way to enter into this season if you can possibly make it here;

          come to our healing Mass - that we can all use for sure - take home the daily devotional in the back of Church and in the bulletin - pray it yourself, pray it with your family around your Advent wreath at home - or we can just lie collapsed in our berka lounger in a spiritual coma these next 4 weeks. 

          But Jesus warns us – stay awake, be prepared – for at an hour you do not expect the Son of Man will come. Will we be ready, or will we just let this blessed and sacred time pass us by once again.  I'll tell ya what though, if we prepare, if we truly enter into this season as God calls us too - the garbage of this season, the garbage of our lives, will quickly start to disappear and we will see so clearly what we are truly called to be about.  But that's a decision for each of us to make.  Good luck. God help us all.  +


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