“Be vigilant at all times.” (Luke 21:36)

Meditation from The Word Among Us.

This past week many of the Gospel readings have included Jesus’ warnings about the coming day of the Lord. And many of the first readings have included visions from the Book of Revelation about the age to come. Together, these have been a pathway leading us to the season of Advent, which begins tomorrow. As we stand on the threshold of a new season and a new liturgical year, today’s Gospel calls us to be vigilant and to stand firm.

Perhaps you feel that you lose sight of the Lord as you go about your day. Life can be so demanding—and so distracting. Maybe your daily routine has created a false sense of security. Maybe the battle against temptations has become discouraging. Perhaps even the devil is trying to convince you to give up, saying that you probably won’t make it anyway. But no matter how many forces come against you, don’t give up the fight! Don’t let your heart grow drowsy (Luke 21:34). Keep on being watchful and vigilant!

Simeon (Luke 2:25-32) and Anna (2:36-38) are inspiring Advent models for us. Like sentries at the post waiting for the coming of the dawn, they kept looking for the Messiah. Neither their vision nor their hope dimmed as they patiently remained on the lookout. They waited for the fulfillment of God’s promises with perseverance. They stayed attentive to the Holy Spirit because they were so eager to see God’s salvation. All their prayerful pondering and steadfast watching enabled them to recognize that salvation when Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the Temple. God’s ways had become their ways, and his thoughts had become their thoughts.

Let’s greet this coming Advent season of grace with determination, confidence, and perseverance. Let’s remember that we are looking forward both to Jesus’ coming as an infant on Christmas and his final return at the end of time, when he will bring us fully into his kingdom. As Pope Benedict XVI has said: “Advent is par excellence the season of hope in which believers in Christ are invited to remain in watchful and active waiting, nourished by prayer and by the effective commitment to love.”

“Jesus, you are my Messiah and Savior! Give me the grace to keep my eyes and my heart fixed on you as I look for the day of your coming.”

Revelation 22:1-7; Psalm 95:1-7

(taken from http://wau.org/meditations/current/)

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