The Lord calls Peter, Andrew, James and John by name to carry out a specific task: invite others to follow Jesus Christ. This work continues today, and our invitation is to consider how the Lord calls us to invite others to follow as well.
Advent is one of those seasons that has the power to surprise us. Just like the relationship between Lent and Easter, Advent offers us a time to prepare our hearts for the great feast of Christmas. In this short season we discover the themes of Preparation, Waiting, Expectation, Repentance, and Stillness.
The thing is…if we aren’t ready for Advent then the whirlwind rush of December can sweep us up into the frenzy of the commercial side of the holiday. Many people are so busy – concerts, parties, family events, purchasing gifts and partaking of the “forced fun” of consumerism’s attempt at a Hallmark Christmas…
Whew! Instead, we can take a deep breath, pray, and reflect on where the Lord is leading us at this moment in our lives. Consider the readings this Sunday:
1st Reading – Isaiah acknowledges that the people are far from God
Psalm – “Lord make us turn to you; show us your face and we shall be saved.”
2nd Reading – St. Paul encourages the people of Corinth to be faithful to the end.
Gospel – The Lord exhorts us to be watchful and alert.
So in these short days of preparation here are a few questions to ponder:
Where I can find a little stillness and quiet in my life?
How is the Lord calling me to pray?
Is there anything or anyone that requires special attention?
Where is the Lord leading me right now?
What do I need to do as I prepare for Christmas?
How can I help someone in this quiet season of Advent?
You get the idea. Step back, pause, and consider in the busy pace that many of us call normal how the Lord is directing your heart. Advent has a beauty and power; our task is to enter into this season and allow God to speak to our souls.
He is our creator, our savior, our judge and our friend. In simple and unassuming ways, he will meet us in our struggles through this life with the courage and conviction to continue in the toughest of times. As our king he deserves our allegiance; yet he lays down his life that we might be saved. We owe everything to Jesus Christ, our King!
The resurrection. Life after death. Eternal communion with God and one another. This crucial teaching reminds us of what is at stake in the battlefield of our souls – the opportunity for everlasting life with the peace, joy and love of Jesus Christ. I want to be there, and I want you to join me!
In this passage of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus focuses his time and attention in the Temple area. This “house of prayer” is a place of teaching, reflection, insight and communion with God and one another. Every time we step inside a church to pray we enter holy ground; may we frequently take time to encounter the Lord and grow as his sons and daughters.
Once a year as a nation we pause and give thanks for our blessings. It’s a great idea, and as disciples of Jesus Christ we pause everyday to thank the Lord with a grateful heart. What are you thankful for today? How can you share your blessings and be a light in the world?
Jesus offers a parable about servants who have been given resources by their master. The passage reminds us that we have all been blessed with opportunities to serve the Lord, and everyday we have a chance to act upon them.