STAY AWAKE AND ACTIVE!!!
SUNDAY READINGS: 1st Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5; 2nd Reading: Romans 13:11-14; Gospel: Matthew 24:37-44
Every human person has his or her destiny to fulfil, and to do this effectively he or she needs to be awake and active. To be awake means to be alert, mentally perceptive and responsive; and to rouse from sleep or to come out of darkness into light. On the other hand, to be active means to be faithful, responsible and committed to discharging one’s duties with love and care.
Cosmologically, the universe is divided into day and night (light and darkness respectively). At night we sleep off, but during the day, we become awake, ready for activities. This implies that being asleep is synonymous with unproductivity/ inactivity while being awake engenders activities. However, someone could be awake, yet inactive.
Meanwhile, today is the First Sunday of Advent (arrival of a notable person); the ecclesiastical New Year day in the Catholic Church. It is the beginning of the Church’s annual liturgical cycle of feasts with a period of four (4) weeks of preparation for Christmas. It is also a period of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and His return at the Parousia. Hence, the readings of today’s Sunday Readings and that of the three coming Sundays are chosen to help us prepare for this great event.
In the first reading, Prophet Isaiah prophesies about the new world that will begin with the coming of the LORD. That is, when people would refrain from violence, hate speech and wickedness, but always seeking for the good of others so that genuine love and peace would prevail. Hence, he encourages us to always walk in the light of the LORD (Isaiah 2:5).
Moreover, in other to experience that day of the LORD, Jesus Christ tells us in today’s Sunday Readings, precisely the Gospel reading, to always stay awake and be ready, because if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into (Matthew 24:43). So, the Son of man is coming at an hour we do not expect (Matthew 24:44).
Furthermore, in the second reading, St. Paul urges us to avoid evil, and always be awake and active by walking in the light of Christ. Thus, he says: “It is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:12-14).
Finally, in this Sunday Readings of 1st Avent, as we prepare for the celebration of the arrival of Jesus Christ at Christmas, may we always remain awake by being conscious of His second coming at the Parousia. Also, to always be active by living a life worthy of our calling. That is, going to Sacramental Confessions regularly, bringing the light of the Gospel to others by forgiving their offences, and showing genuine love and care to people around us.
Therefore, since Jesus Christ Has destroyed death and brought life and immortality through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57), those who are actively awake here on earth shall be admitted into His Heavenly Kingdom, beginning with those who had fallen asleep.
May the Holy Spirit grant you the grace to always remain actively awake in order to experience the glorious day of the LORD, and thus gain eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!
Peace of Christ be with you…
Rev. Fr. Ben Okala, C.S.Sp.
Amen. More inspirations Padre
Thank you very much my dear sister Jane. God bless you.