First Sunday of Advent
The Gospel Reading for this day from Mark 13:33-37, suggests a transition in the yearly cycle of readings. At the end of the liturgical year we end with reminders of the “end times.”
In this short gospel reading the word watch is used four times – Be watchful! Be alert …the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch therefore – what I say to you I say to all watch.
The end times – be watchful and alert also apply to the beginning of new life – At the beginning of the new liturgical year we start the new cycle with the reminder that life is like a spiral as we move forward:
Be watchful and alert as we look for the Messiah.
Be watchful and alert as we experience the birth of the Messiah within each of us.
Be watchful and alert as we nurture the growth of the Messiah.
Be watchful and alert as we listen to the voice of the Messiah and let the voice influence our daily listening to and spreading of the Word.
Be watchful and alert as we respond to the love of the Messiah and in turn show heartfelt love.
Be watchful and alert as we examine our hearty responses to the gentle and not so gentle promptings of the Messiah as heard in the gospel.
Be watchful and alert as we become ever more mindful of the presence, value and effect of the Precious Blood of Jesus.
We as Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood are compelled to be “watchful and alert”
and to respond to the Church’s urge for new forms of evangelisation, renewed zeal in this
year dedicated to Consecrated Life. It was not enough for the watchmen to be watchful –
they must also respond to the owner and actively be there for the Messiah’s arrival.
When the Messiah arrives there will be tasks to do – are we, are you, watchful and alert to follow through with the tasks?
Sr. Mary William Verhoeven, cps