Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7 1 Corinthians1:3-9 Mark 13:33-37
Today we begin our journey through Advent. The opening reading (Isaiah) carries that “journey motif”, as Isaiah tells of the Israelites wandering aimlessly through life. They have all but forgotten the wondrous deeds the Lord has done for them over time, and allowed themselves to wither, like leaves scorched by the hot Middle-Eastern sun. They need to change their hearts - ceasing their stiff-necked obstinance, and allowing themselves to be molded like the “clay” they are meant to be, in the hands of God. Their plight is a reminder that God is always present and willing to help us, but we must first ask for that help, by aligning ourselves with God’s divine will.
In Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, we get a glimpse of the way God works with those who are faithful and patient. God shapes us, so that we can be change agents in our world - in our homes, in our communities, and even in the world at large.
Today’s gospel, from Mark, is refreshingly simple and direct: “Be watchful! Be alert!”
Wrapping our three readings together, we see that we are being called to correct the errors of our ways - to open ourselves to a change of heart, a conversion; and to new growth. Once we have accomplished that, we are prepared to be molded by God during Advent.
Let us watch for God’s activity in our lives during this sacred season. May we wait patiently, but with great anticipation, for the many ways God will seek to enter into the stables of our souls. Have a blessed and wonder-filled Advent! Pay attention - watch - and wait patiently…prayerfully.
by: Bill Miller