First Sunday of Advent - Gospel Reading

First Sunday of Advent [A]
November 28, 2010

Reflection on the Gospel
Matthew 24:37-44

“So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”

The words “know” and “known” appear three times in our Gospel passage, and each time in a negative form:  “…they did not know…”; “…you do not know…”; “if the master of the house had known…”.  Each of us can surely relate to the circumstances Jesus is describing here.  Each of us has had many experiences of being bewildered, of not knowing what was going on in our lives, and wondering what to do next.

When we find ourselves not knowing what’s going on, we have at least three options.  First, we can remain where we are, frozen in place by ignorance and doubt.  Second, we can search for answers, not moving further until we do know what’s going on.  Or third, we can walk by faith.

As Christians, we cannot remain where we are, because as the Church militant, we are on pilgrimage every day of our lives on earth.  We must move forward:  so that leaves us with options 2 and 3.  But in our lives as Christians, we will never have all the answers.  Indeed, the most important questions in life are so large that they can only be answered by God, when we see Him face to face in Heaven.  If, on earth, we demand complete answers before we proceed, we will never move forward and grow as Christians.  So while it’s true that we can and should ask questions, the answers we receive will never resolve every doubt in our minds.  That’s why we recognize option 3—walking by faith—as the “Christian way”.

The examples Jesus sets before us today force us to realize that we must think, act, and live every present moment as if it were our last.  What would it profit us to know the “hour of our death”:  would we use that knowledge to put off until the end of our lives what we ought to be doing throughout our lives?  Live every day as if it were your last.  Or, in other words:  always live with your end in mind.  Your “end” is life with God.

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The parish I serve

<b>The parish I serve</b>
St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Colwich, Kansas (Diocese of Wichita)