Today marks the first day of Advent – the liturgical color shifts to purple as we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and recognize the first day of the liturgical year.
The Gospel reading from Mark (13:33-37) is short and to the point. In it one of my favorite words in Scripture is used over and over again in various ways – “Watch!” Jesus says it five times to his disciples. The point is that death comes for us all, and with it judgement. Are we ready? In this very moment, if we were told that we only had days to live…what would run through our mind? Most likely, “I didn’t have enough time.”
Our mind would race to all that we could have or should have done. I’m not talking about traveling or skydiving, but rather, spending more quality time with the ones who matter most, wishing we had been better and more invested in them, and of course, considering our relationship with God Almighty, as we prepare to encounter him.
One of the biggest deceptions of the devil is to tell us, “You have time.” Many plan to grow close to the Lord in their later years, after they have finished pursuing the things they would like to do, or even focusing all their energy on raising their children and furthering their career.
Reading Scripture is something that is seen as better serving the season of our lives when all the busyness slows down. In that time, many promise themselves that they will then return to the Sunday obligation of worship, and rightly get their soul in order before death.
Actor David Cassidy recently passed away, and his daughter Katie shared publicly her father’s last words on earth: “So much wasted time.” Those words have haunted me, and they should haunt you as well. It’s sudden wisdom like that, at the moment of death, which is a gift to the rest of us, who may have any length of time left.
YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN THE TIME WILL COME.
Jesus assures all of us of this.
Yet, I also find comfort in this gospel as well. The line, “He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work.” This line stands out to me, because the Lord has always allowed man to cooperate with him – in grace, in creation of new life, in transformation of our own soul and destiny, and in salvation history. We are all given a “charge” and a “work.” This is an abundantly beautiful gift, and one I hope each of us will perfect, for no one in time and eternity can do the work that you have been given.
“Be watchful! Be alert!