Today’s Gospel: Mark 13:33-37
“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!'”
The Gospel reading for the first Sunday of Advent begins with Jesus’ call for all of us to “Be watchful! Be alert!” (Mk 13:33). It will be our motto and set the tone for us over the next 22 days. Let these words echo in our hearts as we consider what they truly mean. Let us turn together in prayer and ask for the grace we need to stay watchful and alert in this Advent Season.
It is interesting to note that the Church teaches that Advent is “a period of devout and joyful expectation.” To expect something is to wait, but Advent is not meant to be a quiet waiting room where we sit and wait for our number to be called. Rather it is meant to be a joyful time where we kick it up a notch spiritually! Advent is a time to welcome Christ’s presence anew in our hearts and in our marriage, and to prepare for His Second Coming!
Do you believe that Christ is calling the two of you to enter Advent with a shared joyful devotion? How can you encourage one another to stay watchful and alert for Jesus?
Prayers of Thanksgiving:
Thank you Lord for this season of Advent. Thank you for calling us to marriage and asking us to keep watch and be alert as a couple.
Prayers of Petition:
Lord help us to be devoted to these 22 days of expectation with joy. Help us grow in faith and be more attentive to Your desire to come into our hearts and into our marriage. Help us to prepare ourselves for your Second Coming.
With this call to “Be watchful! Be alert!” let us plan today, by God’s grace, to phase out the snooze button and wake up a few minutes earlier to begin the day with a prayer. Make a decision on what that time you need to wake up tomorrow morning, and when the alarm goes off offer up a prayer to God. St. Josemaria Escriva called the moment in which we choose between the pleasure of a little more sleep or responding to the call to pray the “Heroic Minute.”
“The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and … up! The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body. If, with God’s help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish.” – St. Josemaria Escriva