Spiritual readings for Sunday 3rd of December
27 November 2017 CGI news
Week of 27th November (reference: readings of Sunday 3rd December)
1st Sunday of Advent - Readings: I Cor 1, 3-9; Mk 13, 33-37
“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
In the Gospel of Mark, which we reflect upon today, Jesus is very categorical in his words: 'Watch and take heed, for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going abroad, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, in the evening, at midnight, at daybreak or at dawn.
This is the Gospel of Advent, par excellence: we must be prepared because we do not know when the Lord comes. Perhaps Jesus is speaking of the Parousia, the end of time, the last day. However, Jesus is maybe speaking of the day of our death: likewise, we do not know when it will come and, therefore, we must be prepared.
In this time of Advent, I think that we can be a little more positive: we must be prepared and always be attentive to the coming of Jesus in Bethlehem. Let us imagine that someone tells us today that Jesus is born and that He is waiting for you to be one of the Three Wise Men, so you take him a gift. This gift would be a sheet of paper, where you write a summary of your life, with everything that you did as a child of God. What would you write? If you feel good with what you wrote, it indicates that you are prepared and vigilant for the day when "the master of the house comes".
We know that it is very difficult to be always prepared and vigilant, every day, every hour, every moment, always looking for sanctification. Only God can give us the necessary strength, because we are fragile, sometimes we fall; sometimes we forget God and we get away from Him. In this moment, what Saint Paul tells us in today’s reading, in his Letter to the Corinthians, is fulfilled: "you believed in the message of Jesus Christ. For this reason, while you wait for Jesus Christ’s return, you will have the blessing of God. That way you will not cease trusting Him, and when Jesus comes, nobody will accuse you of having done something wrong. God chose you to share everything with his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, and he always keeps his word."
Therefore, if we put ourselves in the hands of God, He will give us the gift and the perseverance to watch constantly.
There is no better way to be vigilant than to do the will of God in the service to the Poor. The Poor gives us the ability to be vigilant, through what He teaches us. If the Poor can keep their virtues in their poverty, why could we not also be virtuous? Precisely us, to whom God gave so many gifts, who gave such an ability to serve the "little ones". The service to the poor is our guarantee of being vigilant, being prepared for the coming of the Lord, be it on the last day, in our death or, in the celebration of His birth.
If we go to the house of the Poor with the idea of meeting God there, we will not need to worry about being vigilant, because we are anticipating the definitive encounter with Him. God gives to the Vincentian the tranquillity of having the final meeting (be it of the Parousia or his birth), whenever we go to the house of the Poor. This occurs because it is the real crib, the home of those who did not find a privileged place in hostels and were marginalized by life. The Vincentian is a true Wise Man illuminated by the star, who goes to meet God who is born and lives in the outskirts, in the favelas, the slums, in the places where nobody wants to go. The Vincentian is always watching, always ready for the encounter with the Lord!