Don’t be Found in Spiritual Pyjamas
Stay Awake! Keep watch! Be prepared! These are the key ‘non-Christmassy’ words we find in the mass Advent readings. The message is that we are not to become spiritually lazy or distracted from the most important aspect of our life: being in a right relationship with God and doing his will.
Yet in the run up to Christmas you would be forgiven for thinking that we are to do the very opposite: presents, decorations, staff parties, holidays and so on. None of these are necessarily wrong in themselves when they do not compromise our commitment to walk with God and in His ways. But they are hardly what celebrating Christmas is all about.
Advent in a sense is like a wake up call – that is why the readings are full of warnings about keeping our interior focus on the Light of the Word who has opened up the way for us to be with Him in heaven. That is why Emmanuel (God with Us) came, so we will be with Him for eternity. But this is an invitation of love and is not imposed on us. And it is everyday that we need to renew our response. That is why cultivating a healthy life of consistent prayer is so very important,
So off with our spiritual pyjamas because for all of us Jesus’ Second Coming is for sure – either at our death or at the end of the world if we are still alive then. What happens to me and to you then will depend on how we welcome Him in His First Coming. He is still here amongst in us – in prayer we connect with Him, in repentance we turn to him, in the Eucharist we receive Him, in the Scriptures we listen to Him and in our neighbour we serve Him. These are the things we should seek to be doing this Advent!