Sunday November 29, 1st Sunday of Advent

Gospel of Mark 13:33–37

Be watchful! You do not know when the Lord of the house is coming.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Every moment is precious. We are called to be present to the present moment. In this season of waiting, Jesus is inviting us to be awake and ready. Jesus presents us with an image of a God who gives us responsibility for each other. We are called to take up our own work and wait for God in faithfulness and hope.

This Advent, how might I become more awake to God in my daily life and work?

How might I become more present to the present moment?

Living a busy life can mean I need to mark out a sacred time and space. I might make a commitment to a certain prayer time and prepare a sacred space with a prayerful focus. Mary Ward took time to do this. As she settled into her quiet space she would firstly begin by considering how God saw her, offering reverence and specifically asking for God’s grace.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to become still, settle and be attentive, even for Mary Ward – as we read in this passage from her prayer journal; yet Jesus calls us to wait faithfully in hope as she does.

Settling myself to prayer I knew not where to find God, I was loathe to take, what was not given or choose for myself. My desire was to find him where he would be found. Beginning I saw my soul not settle to it in good earnest, but as one better half asleep. (Mary Ward, retreat notes April 1618 Liége)