Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent: Another Year of the Long Watch

Today's Gospel reading starts on the second verse of this excerpt:
" 'But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

"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 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!" ' "
(Mark 13:32-37)

Watching, Working

As I said last week, we've been on standby alert for about two millennia. (November 23, 2014)

There's plenty to keep us busy while we wait. One of our jobs is making "disciples of all nations," and passing along ethical standards our Lord gave us. (Matthew 28:18-20)

The basics are simple: love God, love our neighbors, see everyone as our neighbor, and treat others as we'd like to be treated. (Matthew 5:43-44, 7:12, 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31 10:25-27, 29-37; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1789)

Consequences and Hope

I think one reason the job is taking so long is that we're expected to live as if "respecting the transcendent dignity of man" matters. That starts inside each of us, with an ongoing "inner conversion." (Catechism, 1888, 1928-1942)

It's not easy. Humans, like all creatures, are basically good. But our first parents decided to ignore God's will. We've been dealing with consequences of that choice ever since. (Catechism, 385, 388-390, 397-409)

God did not abandon us, though. After we lost harmony within ourselves and with the universe, God kept calling us back. (Genesis 3:15; Catechism, 410-412)

It's been a long wait: and that's another topic. (February 23, 2014)

Advent: Remembering and Looking Forward

"In the fullness of time," about two thousand years ago, the Word became one of us, grew up, and was executed. We're celebrating because our Lord didn't stay dead: and because God wants to adopt us. (John 1:1-5, 19:17-42, 20:17; Galatians 4:4-5)

During Advent, we remember when our Lord first came, and look forward to the Savior's return: whenever that will be. (Catechism, 524, 673, 1040, 2772)

In the meantime, like I said, we have work to do.

Somewhat-related posts:


Elizabeth Reardon said...

I led Children's Liturgy this week and loved that the kids grasped so easily the idea of working on being better Christians while we wait. Their suggestions, love our brothers and sisters, be kind to all people and animals, ask forgiveness when we have hurt someone, and live as Christ would want us to. :)

Brian Gill said...

Smart kids, Elizabeth Reardon.


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Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.