Jesus’ exhortations to stay awake and be prepared (cf. MT 24:42,44) ought to be sweet music to a Christian’s ears. The King’s forewarning of His pending coming is a courteous declaration that allows us to make the proper spiritual arrangement in our lives to being good and to welcome him when He returns.
To those who abide by these exhortations, to stay awake and be prepared, these words inspire hope, not fear. They become words of mercy, not threats; pillars for eternal peace, not doom.
The uncertainty of the timing could unsettle some. Jesus does not tell us how long we should stay alert or prepare for His arrival. That is because not even He knows the time, only His Father does (cf. MK 13:32).
As Christians we know, nevertheless, that the time will come sooner or later. That ought to be good news for us. Why? Because we know well in advance what we must do to be in proper relationship with Jesus. This means that He ought to be the number one priority in our lives. Jesus should be the center of our lives. What does that mean exactly? It means that all we do should have Jesus in mind as the beginning, middle, and end. It does not mean that nothing else is important, but that everything is within the context of Jesus and His Father’s divine plan.
On this, the first week of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Messiah, let’s take a moment to reflect on how our lives conform to what Jesus expects. Properly discerned, alertness and preparedness will discourage unwelcome thieves and grant access to the King who provides the true meaning of the holiday season.
May God bless you!
—Inspired be the first Sunday of Advent readings—