Day 1 of Advent 2020

‘But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

Matthew 24:36-44

Thankfully most of us don’t live in areas where catastrophic natural disasters wipe out a section of the community at irregular intervals but, on a personal level, many of us know what it is to come to terms with life changing events that we had not expected. But staying awake and alert for an indefinite period is not a viable option – it’s a predictable path towards a stress induced breakdown.

The return of Jesus is not an event we can forecast, but we can come to know the presence of God with us now. The difference between “God is nowhere” and “God is now here” is just a little extra space. If we can find a routine that allows more time for God amid the daily chores that are too mundane ever to be recorded in a diary, then we can grow and develop that relationship of trust that allows us to recognize the prompts of divine guidance. The little nudges that make us alert to the needs of others; the wisdom which allows us to recognize what is really fulfilling as opposed to that which simply fills up time.

Let’s pray: Lord grant us the grace to trust today and all of our tomorrows into your loving care. Amen

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