November 30th, First Sunday of Advent
“Watch and Pray”
Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Watch therefore—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.”
Happy new (liturgical) year! Before we leave to go on a trip, as lord of our house, we prepare our suitcases, we make reservations, we put timers on the lights and stop the mail. We make reservations for the pets, maybe with someone staying at the home or pet hotel. We may even ask the neighbors to keep an eye on the house for anyone lurking about. We make every effort to protect our stuff when we are leaving it behind.
But what if our neighbors, whom we asked to watch our stuff, did not keep watch on the house and we return to find our home ransacked? They figured nothing would happen so they didn’t pay attention, not knowing that we would return – to this mess! This is what Jesus was warning his disciples about in the passage above.
Before Jesus left His disciples, He told them to keep watch because they would not know when He, the Lord, would return. He wanted them to travel and spread the Good News. He also wanted them to keep a watchful eye out, keeping the Lord’s house in order, because only the Father knows when the Son will return. He was warning them so that they would not delay in bringing more disciples to Him, but also so they could keep their hearts and minds on the work at hand. Jesus is also asking this of us, be watchful.
How are we to know the Lord is on his way? In the verses prior to these, Jesus tells His disciples that they “will see Son of Man coming in the clouds”, and He will send out the angels and “gather [his] elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky”. Prepare your hearts! So you can be called among His elect.
Jesus, help me to be more watchful for you during this Advent. I do not want to be caught off guard if You were to show up at my doorstep. Help me to keep my house in order, my heart on you and help guide me in your ways in all things. I ask this in your Holy Name, Amen.