Baby Jesus is presented in the temple, evoking words of praised from those who recognize God in human form. Fully human and fully divine, we can draw near to the Lord who becomes like us in all things but sin, even as he frees us from sin and death by his saving action on the Cross.
Jesus tells the Pharisees that “the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.” Once we recognize that Christ is the Son of God, we have the opportunity with a simple question to determine if we are keeping our focus where it properly belongs.
The Lord calls us to be vigilant – against drowsiness, anxiety, and drunkenness – as we pray for the strength to face our challenges in this life. For always remember: one day we will stand before the Son of Man.
Life happens. Sometimes we can get caught up in the cycle of our routine, only to find that everything can change in the blink of an eye. Jesus reminds his disciples that the Son of Man will appear when least expected – empowering us to live each day as if it is our last, taking nothing for granted as we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord.
We start a new liturgical year in the Church (that’s “Year A” if you need to use the Lectionary for Sunday readings and “Cycle I” for daily Mass) with a vision of the end of time when the Son of Man comes in glory.
Several key points emerge:
It will happen suddenly, when no one expects it (Gospel)
All nations will come and be taught God’s ways (1st Reading)
It is the Lord who makes peace possible, not humans (1st Reading)
In God’s house there is great joy (Psalm)
We live each day fully prepared, ready if the Lord call us (2nd Reading)
Advent gives us a rich – but very short – opportunity to prepare our hearts for Christmas. All of these points listed above serve as excellent reminders regarding how we live each day fully invested in the present moment. We live for the Lord, following his commands, so as to be ready whenever and wherever our lives will take the next turn in the road.
For when God calls us into eternity we hear that the unity, peace, and joy we glimpse in precious moments in this life will come to fulfillment. United in the Lord, we will join the heavenly host when this world passes away.
I invite us all to consider how we might do one thing better each day – to be more focused, more aware, more present – so that we can give glory and honor to Jesus Christ. We follow the Lord with all our hearts; may we make the most of every day to live our faith to the fullest.