One of the many rules of my childhood household was this: “You are to be home before the streetlights come on!” Of course, as I grew older and seemingly more responsible, there was a certain amount of resistance. But, my parents always called us, my siblings and I, to be responsible for our behavior and demanded that we be attentive to both the light and the darkness as well as the “signs” that accompanied them both. Jesus reminds the disciples (Matthew 24:37-44) that being inattentive and unprepared, and by carrying on, as usual, might just lead to us being taken advantage of, being left behind, or as my parents would say, “being left out in the cold.”
Advent is a bit more than streetlights. It is about being called back to our eternal home (Isaiah 2:1-5) that we might dwell in the Lord’s house which is “established on the highest mountain!” Thus, when the streetlights come on, we joyfully “run home” to dwell securely in him, who longs to “steal” our hearts from within, forever! Thus we pray:
God of majesty and power, amid the clamor of our violence your Word resounds; upon a world made dark by sin the Sun of Justice casts his dawning rays. Keep your household watchful and aware of the hour in which we live. Hasten the advent of that day when the sounds of war will forever be stilled, the darkness of evil scattered, and all your children gathered into one. We ask this through him whose coming is certain, whose day draws near: your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever!
I thank you for your generosity with our Angel Tree! The clients of Outward Sign and Faith Neighborhood Center, parishioners from Santo Toribio Romo, and the residents of our parish nursing homes will share and benefit from the fruits of your love!
May this first week of Advent make us firm in faith, joyful in hope and active in charity!