As we enter into Advent, we enter into a season of waiting. It is not often that we enjoy waiting. Waiting in a long line, waiting for test results to come back, waiting for a new job opportunity; waiting is a challenge for many of us. We get impatient, anxious, or needy. What we are waiting for makes it all worth it, right?
This Sunday’s readings from Mark tell of Jesus
providing caution to his disciples:
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’
-Mk 13: 36-37
He is speaking to the need to be watchful. This is not just in reference to Jesus’ birth, but for Christ’s return in glory at the end of time. We are to be alert to God’s call for us, watchful of temptations that can distract us. Just as the disciples were to be prepared, we are to prepare.
So, how does being watchful relate to waiting? Think about the last time you were waiting for something… you were mindful of the car ahead of you in the drive-thru; you were tracking the package online to see the delivery time, your son or daughter practicing driving before the driver’s test. While these examples are insignificant, they can remind us that preparation is part of waiting. When you are prepared, you are watchful and situationally aware. How are we watchful in our faith experiences? Are we in a deep relationship with God through daily prayer? Are we participating in the sacramental life of the church, particularly the Eucharist and Confession? Are we serving others, just as we were reminded to do so in last week’s Gospel to serve the least?
This Advent, let us embark on a more watchful and prayerful journey through the season, waiting with open and joy-filled hearts for the Christ child!
Katie Price is the Coordinator for Discipleship and Stewardship at the Cathedral. She comes with an extensive background in this field after helping dioceses and parishes across the nation meet their goal of making discipleship a priority in their parishes. If you would like to learn more about the work she is doing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.