Daily Mass Reflections - 12/1
“They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” ~ Revelation 22:4
With wreaths at the ready and the joyful anticipation of the Advent Season palpable, our last pre-Advent Gospel Passage today (Luke 21:34-36) serves as something of a helpful reminder of our need to prepare, repent and remain ever vigilant, a silky smooth segue into the Advent Season if ever there was one.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.” Jesus warns us, going on to predict that “... that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
As we find ourselves on the cusp of Advent, this message should serve as something far more critical than merely a reminder to go easy on the egg nog at the Office Christmas Party. Instead we’re invited to go deeper, to ponder that which occupies our thoughts. Caught up with the day-to-day anxieties of life? Take the advice of the great Saint Padre Pio, who extols us to “pray, hope and don’t worry.”
On the topic of hope, that glorious virtue for which we light the first of our violet Advent Candles tomorrow, I’d invite you all to reflect upon that which you place your hope in. Is it the next promotion, the bigger house, a flashier car? The subsequent approval of your peers or social circle? Or does your hope reside in something deeper, something far more glorious, something far more lasting. Something eternal.
Take a few moments each day during the Advent Season to simply remind yourself of that which we as Catholics place our eternal hope in. You may find that all the pent up trivialities of life that cause you to ruminate, obsess and endlessly mull over are just that. Trivia.
“And again Isaiah says, the root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” ~ Romans 15:12-13
Welcome to Advent. May this Christmas Season bring you unending hope, never-ending faith, overflowing joy, and a peace of mind, body, and soul that can only be experienced through an intimate and vibrant relationship with our new-born Savior, Jesus Christ.