The meaning of the words in the title of this reflection, “Be Watchful,” fills my heart with caution and trepidation this season. I have a personal reason.
Recently having just returned from a walk with my sister, Audrey, who has Alzheimer’s, I turned away to hang up our coats. In the instant my back was turned, I heard screams and thump, thump, thump. Audrey had started down the stairs and fell, bouncing on three steps before we could rescue her.
The next 24 hours are a blur. We picked her up, placed her in a wheelchair, called for the transport X-ray van and tried to discern how to relieve her obvious pain which she could not describe.
Through God’s goodness Audrey’s fall resulted only in bruises; she is now walking as sprightly as ever.
But I have changed, I WATCH when with her, watch uneven floors, crumpled rugs, see that shoe laces are not dragging. I am alert and vigilant.
And that is the stance Advent calls us to during these four weeks before Christmas.
Jesus says to his disciples, “Be watchful! Be Alert! You do not know when the time will come.”
In preparation for a God come to earth, we are to make ourselves worthy of the graces we have received.
Paul in the second reading says, “You were enriched in every way not lacking any spiritual gift, be worthy of your communion with Jesus Christ.”
Like me, slow down, be watchful of judgmental words, critical thoughts or impatient gestures.
Christ has come, is coming and will come to us in even a deeper presence if we stand alert and ready to receive Him.
What will you do or let go of this 1st week of Advent to better prepare for Christ’s coming?