Monday, December 1, 2014
Friends of Faith:
We have been placed on high alert! “High alert” that Christ is coming. Being Christian this shouldn’t be a surprise, but yet sometimes we act as if we have either forgotten, or as if the fact that Christ has promised he will come again is new.
For those of you who were fortunate enough to be at a Circle of Saints mass this weekend this message will sound familiar as it comes from Archbishop Jackels homily – hopefully you will place it somewhere nearby during the season of Advent as a reminder of his message to us. For those of you who for any reason were unable to attend know that while it was his homily – it wasn’t really “his”message but rather he was giving us a personal plan to put today’s gospel into action.
"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!’” Mk 13: 33-37
Archbishop Jackel’s said that “while this particular scripture places us on “high alert”it is impossible to remain in this state of high intensity for very long. Rather we should continually live our life as if Christ is watching” (see Nov 14 reflection.)
And just as we wouldn’t ask Grandma or another treasured guest to come back at another time because we are not yet ready for their presence in our home, we should always be ready and willing for Christ’s second coming; for him to enter the home of our heart and lives—for Christ to be with us and we with Him fully and eternally.
God loves us but God hates sin. Likewise He doesn’t wait for us to make a mistake, rather He wants us to make an honest attempt to live our life as the holy person he designed us to be. He asks us to be willing to admit to our mistakes, to have a forgiving heart that makes amends, and to make a commitment to try our hardest to do better. He knows we don’t have the power to come to Him on our own, so He promises that He will come back for us—either at our death, or at the end of this world.
While we are called to be on “alert” we won’t and can’t in our human nature ever be “perfectly”ready. Just as sometimes our guests come a little early, or even completely surprise us with their visit we should want to have a willing, accepting, and spiritually ready mind and heart and to be ready with “a clean house.”
He suggested that we build a habit of praying the Act of Contrition each evening:
God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to confess my sins, do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
Or to build our own prayer based on the principals of 1) confessing and admitting to our faults; 2) telling God that we love him and 3) making a firm commitment to seriously try to do better to live in obedience to God. (And it occurs to me that just as I was taught this at a young age, so should parents continue to teach a simplified version of this to their children—no matter their age.)
I am asked to do this day after day, moment after moment, again and again…. 70 x 7—especially in the covenant of my vocation, my marriage, in the promise of chastity, obedience, and service to each other through the mission of bringing each other to holiness.
Be alert. Be ready. Be willing. Make the commitment to try, try, and try again and forever, for yourself, for your spouse, for your children and for eternal life,