By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB
“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent.”
“People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world.”
St. Luke’s Gospel (Luke 21: 25-28; 34-36) for this 1st Sunday of Advent seems prophetic for this Advent season as we reel from the bombing and killing in Paris just 2 weeks ago.
The church provides us with the season of Advent so that we can pray and fast and do good works in preparation for the celebration of the 3 comings of Jesus Christ:
• His birth in Bethlehem,
• His coming in our lives now
• His coming at the end of our lives.
Mindful, then, of the world situation and of the startling Gospel for today, let us use these 4 weeks to pray, to fast (not eating between meals or forgoing the office “treats”), and to do good works.
We might work in the local food pantry, contribute to a gift for needy children, make an Advent wreath, and practice patience and kindness to those who offend, hurt, and criticize us … to ourselves … and to those who show kindness to us!