“Stay awake, for you know not the day not the hour the Son of Man will come!”
Recently in our news and talk shows, the word ‘woke’ has found its way into conversations and debates. The dictionary says it is the past tense of wake and it is used in contexts that refer to issues that occur in society, more often in matters of racism and social justice and often revealing people’s attitudes.
I think we all remember these words from a holiday song.
Words we are most likely hearing sung already in stores and on radio and even perhaps TV. Though it is a secular song, I use it as a lawyer would in making his case: “Your honor, it is relevant to my case...”
You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town!
In today’s Gospel, Jesus urges us to “stay awake, because you know not the hour nor the day when the Son of Man will return” (Matthew 24:32). Perhaps as we begin to prepare for the celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ, we might pause and ponder on the above Scripture quotation. Mainly to stay awake!
So much in our lives becomes routine: rising each morning, going to work, ministry, school, watching our favorite TV shows, sports, and so much more, that perhaps preparing for Christmas is also a routine event in our lives. We are bombarded with commercialism and advertisements that block out the reason for the season. Christmas cards with the Christ Child or Holy Family are scarce to find. All is secularized. This is truly something to cry and pout about, because the ‘reason for the season’ is to remind us that the coming of Christ will happen when we least expect it.
So how do we stay awake? Some people need a stimulant like coffee to help them stay awake while they are on a specific task that needs to be completed and time is running out.
Spiritually, what stimulant do you need to keep awake and alert for the coming of Christ?
Franciscan Sister and theologian, Ilia Delio, suggests we awaken to the presence of the Incarnate God who is within us – to be more mindful that God already came into this world, but perhaps has been forgotten because of all that consumes our daily living, all that disconnects us to His blessings all around us, and all that distracts us from Him.
Advent is a time set aside to enable us to reconnect, to awaken our minds and hearts, and ponder God who is within us waiting “for what’s not there but in a sense attending to what is there” (Ilia Delio). To fan the spark of love in your heart, you are invited this Advent to be more mindful of God who is within you and Who will one day come for you and waiting will be no more.
Sr. Celeste Hupert, CSFN