Monday, November 30, 2009

Begin Anew

Sunday was the beginning of Advent and the beginning of a new church year. It is a time to begin anew. To make a new commitment to make the changes necessary to more fully live our lives according to God’s instructions as we wait in anticipation of Jesus’ birth.

The bible is a living story which teaches us how to live our own lives. We are each living our own life story, but are we living it according to Jesus’ teachings? As our priest said, “all of our yesterdays were the prologue, anything we do today not only will affect tomorrow, but could change our outlook on what yesterday was.” It’s kind of like looking back on each moment, the happy times and the suffering times and to be able to see the blessings and purposes for those times. Will we have lived those times according to God’s commands? And how can we change our choices today to make those moments “learning moments.”

The reason for the season, the beginning of the new liturgical year, gives us the opportunity to take advantage of Jesus’ coming to live and die for us. We can take advantage of Christ’s death on the cross, if we start anew today and choose to live for him, to serve for him, and to obey him. He tells us to live this way: “Brothers and sisters: May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God and as you are conducting yourselves -you do so even more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” 1 Thes 3:12-4:2

We are also instructed to “not grow weary” to be vigilant and always watchful: In other words, to not give in to life’s anxieties and the demands and temptations of the world. (Or like children staying awake to wait for Santa’s arrival on Christmas eve.) “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

What part of my life would I like to “start anew?” Is it my relationship, or an attitude, toward God, my spouse, my children, my parents, or a friend? Have I become complacent in putting God first in my life? Am I praying for the strength to escape the tribulations (and temptations) of my earthly life? Am I taking time each day to pray or to attend mass or have I fallen asleep in my faith journey? Will I wake up, get ready, and be watchful and ready for Jesus’ arrival?

With hope, let us begin anew to make the choices God is calling us to make, so that we may stand before the Son of Man having shown each other abundant love with hearts of holiness, never to grow weary, and always to be ready for his coming. Amen.

Blessings, Charlotte

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