Stay Awake!

This week at Church I heard the following Gospel passage:

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'" 

-Mark 13:33-37


This time of preparing for Christmas is a spiritual retreat. It allows us to pause and ask ourselves:  Are we awake? Do we seek? Do we expect? It reminds me of attending an Orthodox Liturgy where they announced the Gospel by loudly proclaiming the Greek word orthi - which means "pay attention" or "let us be attentive." This proclamation signifies to the congregation the significance of the event that is about to take place. For us, this time of preparing for Christmas is a beautiful opportunity to have our attention drawn back to Christ and to consider how He can become more central in our life.

Jesus, may you awaken our hearts to be ready for your second coming. May we seek you in all our desires, expect your loving providence, and most importantly receive your love and presence in our lives. Enlighten us and guide us on this journey home. Amen.