What are you preparing for?
Father Andrzej Wyrostek
Homily from the Televised Mass, NewsCenter1
First Sunday of Advent, December 3, 2023
A very interesting Gospel passage for the beginning of this Advent season. Not too long ago, a good friend of mine was speaking about signs. Signs as a way that can point our direction. Signs that can help us to find the direction or signs that we sometimes, when we see them, we try to avoid. Whatever the reason it is, signs have a purpose. It’s to tell us something. It’s to point us to something.
The Gospel this weekend talks about watching, being prepared. Signs as beautiful or as powerful as they could be, if nobody is looking at them they will not be useful at all. Signs, in order to fulfill their mission or the purpose, have to have somebody who is going to look at them. Not only look, but also understand what they are saying.
Watch! The message of the first Sunday of Advent. The beginning of the time when we are invited to watch. To be careful. To be attentive. To look into something that is about to happen. Something that is going to change the whole history of this world, the course of the life of the people. But we have to be careful and watch it. Be attentive to it. And yet, as we look in our Christian life, and nowadays especially now that Thanksgiving is over, and we look into the day that is going to follow, which is Christmas, but between those two there is time for Advent.
Advent and a time that many of our days are going to be filled with being preoccupied. How do we go about preparing for Christmas, new year? How do we prepare ourselves for the celebrations with the families? What kind of tree do we choose? What decorations we put on? What good deals do we get in the local store? And so on and so on. And before we know it, we’ll be awakened by the joy of the Christmas carol. And Jesus reminds us in the Gospel passage today tells us, watch. Jesus will come. He is going to be born. But are you going to be ready for it?
So, the question for us for this weekend perhaps is very simple. What is it we are concerned with as people of God, as Christians, as those who are baptized into Christ Jesus into his mystery of life? What are we preparing for? What are we preoccupied and concerned with as we spend our days on?
Invitation for us this weekend. Let us hope that when we wake up on Christmas day, that we will know what this day is about. Not being overwhelmed and tired of all the preparations that led to that day and just breathe with a sigh of relief, it’s over, when the truth is, it’s just the beginning. It’s just the beginning. And the Christmas day, when we celebrate the birth, the mystery of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, let us make sure that we are excited. Ready for him. That we long to see him. That we are overwhelmed, overpowered by the grace that is at work in the simplicity of the birth of the Messiah.
The Gospel today tells us, in a beautiful way as a sign to us. Watch and be careful. Be attentive. It’s a very short season. Let us make sure that we do not miss it, because if we miss it, we will miss the purpose of the season of Advent. A season that is calling us to prepare ourselves, our lives, our homes and families, our hearts, for the birth of our savior, the Messiah. The one who is coming into our midst. To be one with us. Make room for him. In the business of life find peace and joy to spend with Jesus.