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.
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!’”
Be Watchful! Be alert! In today’s Gospel for the first Sunday of Advent, Jesus tell us “what I say to you, I say to all: “Watch!” Watch, by definition is “to look attentively or to observe with attention.” But what is it we are to be watchful for? Is this some cosmic riddle? “You don’t know when the Lord of the house is coming”…maybe now…maybe then. We are told to “watch” to be alert!
For the Founder, to be watchful, to be alert was to “see all things with the eyes of faith.” Saint John Baptist De La Salle in his meditation for the Feast of the Epiphany invites us to a particular way of seeing or of watching. He notes, the Magi, in worshipping a poor baby in a manger looked beyond the child in rags, beyond the obvious and seeing with eyes of faith saw before them the “face of God.”
We too, are called to actively look with the eyes of faith. We are told by Jesus to” be aware” and thereby seeing the Incarnation of God in all of creation, in ourselves and in all our brothers and sisters.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle asks us “Are we attentive to the inspirations we receive from God?”
As I light the first candle of Advent, may I reflect upon how I allow the light of faith to guide me in all things. My prayer at the beginning of this Advent season is: “open my eyes Lord” so I may attentively observe Your holy indwelling in all of creation.
“Greatly are we to rejoice that God dwells in our souls, and more greatly are we to rejoice that our soul dwells in God. Our soul is created to be God’s dwelling place, and the dwelling of our soul is God.”
-St. Julian of Norwich
Courtesy of Peggy Perkins, Director of Campus Ministry at Christian Brothers Academy Syracuse
- As we begin this new season of Advent, we begin a new year in the church. A new cycle in the ongoing remembrance of Jesus Christ’s life and His working for our salvation. Advent is when we remember Jesus’ coming for us in the past, present, and future.
- This Gospel reminds us that we must stay awake and be watchful, for we do not know when we will encounter Jesus in our daily lives, nor when He will return on that Last Day we call judgment day.
- Saint John Baptist de La Salle outlined twelve virtues for a good teacher to follow. One of these virtues is vigilance. “Vigilance is the virtue that makes us diligent and painstaking in fulfilling all our duties. A teacher must watch over himself, that is, over the thoughts of his mind, over the movements of his heart, over the use he makes of his senses, and over his en-tire person so as not to do anything except what is good and to fulfill his obligations worthi-ly. A teacher should be vigilant over his students: he is their guardian angel. (The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher, by Brother Agathon, FSC. p. 45)
- Am I faithful to my calling to be vigilant over those entrusted to my care? Is there one particular student especially in need of my vigilance?
- “Young people need the light of watchful guides to lead them on the path of sal-vation.” (Med. 197.3)