We may wonder what was going through the minds of the people in St. Mark’s Gospel with such an alert of the coming of the Lord. Well, this was the mindset of the people of this period of time as opposed to us today who may be a lot more complacent with how and when He will come.
Another of my many corporate stories is about boiled frogs. If you put a frog in warm water, he will sit there as you turn up the gas and become very comfortable. He will then be boiled alive because of this comfort. If you take the same frog and place him in boiling water he will jump out and save himself.
I tend to believe we are the people who sit inn the warm water and Advent is a time to choose the boiling water in our life of faith. A sense of urgency is needed during this liturgical season which tells us to prepare, be ready, and look forward to the coming of Christ into our lives.
With that sobering but real message in mind, let’s take a look at what takes place during the next four weeks and how God can work through these events to bring us to where we need to be.
We will be waiting a lot in the next couple of weeks. We will wait on lines at stores; we will wait more on the roads in traffic with people moving around. If we react in a negative way, we might as well be putting ourselves in the warm water. As I like to say, maybe too much, “it is what it is” so we have a choice. In the second reading we are reminded of the peace of Christ and His presence being the ultimate gift. The reality is that He is right here among us always. We are the ones who are waiting to go to Him. Let these examples of what we will be seeing be a reminder that the Lord is near and here! Let our waiting come to a close and take this moment to go to Him.
We will also be attending a lot of events. I call them events because they should not be Christmas parties until after Christmas, but that is OK. Of course we will also be planning our Christmas dinners and parties. Going through our mind for each may be a thought something like this: well ‘that person” is going to be there and since he or she is I really am not sure I want to go. If this is our thought, back in the warm water we go. Isaiah reminds us in the first reading why Jesus comes to us. We are ALL sinners. How often we forget this. So to better prepare when we are going to one of these events, remember it is the link that joins us all, remove the thought from your mind about one or several people’s sins. Reflect instead on praying for them and working on our own sinfulness.
I hope that through the Scriptures and what takes place in our society you have determined some simple but profound ways to spend this advent season. If I may, one more powerful example exists.
Helen Keller was only two yours old when an illness left her blind and deaf. One day when she was seven years old, her teacher brought her to a stream with running water. She wrote the word water on her palm and she was able to understand. She then was still blind and deaf but was able to overcome a lot and function so well she was an inspiration to many.
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