November 29

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT 2020

Mark 13:33-37

“Be on guard, stay awake!”

Christ is the “master of the house,” but ever since He ascended into heaven (forty days after his resurrection), He has ruled through His “servants.”

The Church is Christ’s household, and all its members (i.e., us) are His servants.

This passage (read in the Church on this first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the new liturgical year) reminds us that, like the pandemic we are currently experiencing, this present arrangement will not last forever, and when the Lord returns He will hope to find each of us working hard as servant leaders at whatever chores we have been assigned.

People often accuse Christianity of self-contradiction: it claims that the Savior has already come into the world, and yet the world (and even some Christians) is still full of suffering, evil, and sin.  What kind of a Savior would leave the world no better than He found it?  Yet, Christ has consciously chosen to insert the “age of the Church” between His first and second coming.  In this age, every human person is given the opportunity to please God and merit a heavenly reward by following Christ. To be His disciple and hope to hear the words, “well done good and faithful servant.” As vehemently asserted in this passage, Christ the Lord longs for us to use this opportunity well…to love, to serve, to watch, and stay awake!

So…stop pressing those snooze buttons and invest in the heavenly caffeine of prayer, fasting and almsgiving so that you will be found ready when the glorious day of His return becomes reality.

Questions to Ponder:
  1. What struck you in this passage? What did you notice that you hadn’t noticed before?
     
  2. How should we carry out Christ’s vehement command to “Watch!” in the present circumstances of our lives?
     
  3. As Christians, our self-images should be dominated by knowing that Christ died for us out of love, and that we have a mission in life as His followers.  How should this manifest itself in our daily lives?