Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on November 27, 2011

Gospel of the day:

Mark 13:33-37

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!’”

Reflection on the gospel of the day: As we start Advent and the new liturgical year, we remember that we live in the in between time: the already but not yet. Jesus has come to fulfill the expectations of his people, but we are still an expectant people that waits and watches for the coming of the Lord.

Indeed, the word Advent means coming. The narrative the Church offers us today reminds us that we need to be ready, to be watchful, alert, wakeful. Every moment of our lives is a precious gift in which to sense the presence of Jesus, and no one knows when these gifts of these many moments will stop coming. We read constantly of accidents that caught people unaware and cost them their lives. Sudden and violent illnesses are common events. We all grieve that too much violence is in our streets, and many people every day leave their homes not knowing that this day is the end of their days. The gift of Christ is always available to us in our prayer and meditation, our spiritual reading, our service to our least sisters and brothers. Every moment of our lives is an opportunity to see Christ, love Christ, follow Christ. If this is the habit of our moments, we will never be caught sleeping or distracted.

Jesus is like the master of the house who has traveled a long way off. You and I are his servants, and he has left us to tend to his affairs. Mother Teresa once observed that she could not do what I can do, and I cannot do what she could do, but together, we can do something beautiful for God. This is the thing: each of us has been given a small plot to cultivate for Christ. We need simply discover it and then love tilling it for the Lord.

“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.” How are we to accomplish this admonition? The answer is really simple.

We attend to the present moment. This minute you have here, right now, holds worth beyond your most unfettered aspirations, but you only enjoy it to the extent your faith and love permit. The more you love, the more you long, the more you hope, the more you find. The will of God is manifest in each moment, an immense ocean which the heart only plumbs to the extent of its faith, trust, and love. If we cultivate our plot with faith, love, longing, hope, and trust through prayer and service focused on Christ, we shall be ready for him when he comes for us.

Spiritual reading: Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise. Every year we roll up all our needs and yearnings and faithful expectation into one word: “Come!” (The Divine Dawning, Karl Rahner, S.J.)

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