The Gospel for this First Sunday of Advent says: “At an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come… so, stay awake.” Although this is primarily meant when Jesus comes at the end of time, it is also some- thing to keep in mind for our daily lives… now. Jesus comes to us everyday and we are those people that make time for him to be a strong part of our lives: our thoughts, our words, our actions. When we concentrate on the “now” of our lives, we become transformed into Jesus so that he is not a stranger to us, but someone whom we have gotten to know over the course of time. It is important to “stay awake,” otherwise we take Jesus for granted and miss out on opportunities to grow in his likeness.

While Advent is a special time of the year, it isn’t an easy time of the year. There is a uniqueness about it with the daily readings, the lighting of the Advent wreath, and the peacefulness of the liturgies. But, for many people there is much to be done, especially within families. Shopping is always a challenge. For many others, Advent is not easy because they may have lost a loved one or may not have a large family. In the midst of all this is our availability of moments to allow God to touch us and to experience the presence of the Lord in all that we do. If possible, try to take a few moments each day to remember what this season means.

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.