Gospel Reflection – First Sunday of Advent – Cycle B

We have reached one of the most beautiful times in the liturgical year. Advent is a time for waiting, preparing. ‘Be on guard, stay awake…’ we read in the Gospel. We do this because of who we are preparing for. It is Christ, our way and our life.
Christ came into the world in poverty, a refugee environment of sorts, or what would become one. We all know about the stable. But we shouldn’t take our cue from sweet and softly painted Christmas cards. The stable was a dirty, poor, outcast place. Nobody wanted to give birth there. It would be nobody’s first choice. Or so we think, for it is where God chose for the incarnation of his Son.
Think of your soul, your body, your life, like this stable, the place that is about to welcome Christ fully. Regardless of what we think, we are poor. We are not worthy to receive the Lamb of God. There is no front parlour (you remember that front room, set aside for special occasions?). No, Jesus will see your whole life including the parts you don’t wish him to notice. Everything. So, what little we have, we shall spend time preparing. Your soul is where he has chosen to dwell. What a wonderful and awesome thought to ponder.
Advent is the reliving of this preparation. It is, of course, a preparation that lasts all year and throughout our whole life. But Advent offers us a safe liturgical segment of time in which to really tune-in to how we might prepare for Christ in our hearts. It is a time for learning how to stay spiritually awake, that we can carry this over into Christmas, New Year and Ordinary Time of 2021.
We pray for the grace to open ourselves to Christ this Advent, to live the Gospel message in all we do and say and are, and to make our hearts a dwelling place for Love. Amen.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 13:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake.
So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’
The Gospel of the Lord.