“Be watchful! Be Alert” – Mark 13:33-37

As we begin this solemn season of advent, we visualize the coming of Jesus in the manger at Bethlehem. The simplicity of that event speaks to our complex and distracted hearts and calls us to be still and then run joyfully to the Lord, a desire that comes naturally to the Christian heart.

For it is in the Bethlehem of our hearts that St. Augustine reminds us of the Second Coming when he said, “ It is by design that Jesus hid the last days from us- so that we’d be on the look out for him every day of our lives.”

Today, the first day of our parish retreat we should watch and listen for the stars in the sky. They will help us learn more about when Christ will come to finish his work; the work he began when took on flesh in the incarnation.

Mary will play her part in our watching. She received the message of the angel alone in her room, and ten spent her life running after her Lord, like a mother after her wayward child. She is eager to sit Him down and play with Him, not with worry or anxiety but only with commitment, peace and joy.

We must have courage and the determination to first sit still, and quietly put down our worry and encounter the peace of this holy season. Like Mary we can ‘run forth to meet our Christ with virtuous deeds and come to possess the Kingdom He announces.

Let us commit our family to becoming clay in the potter’s hands. Let Him mold us as He wishes and may we radiate the Glory He shows us like the stars of heaven!