In today's gospel, Jesus teaches us to always be prepared for the coming of the Son of Man. Although this is the time where we start preparing for Christmas (where we celebrate the birth of Jesus), we must also think about being prepared for when Jesus comes again!
Holy Spirit, fill my heart and illuminate my mind. Help me to hear and understand God's message today. Help me to recognise when God is trying to speak to me in my daily life.Amen
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfA4gcE02_g (Credit to Catholic Kids Media)
Say: Imagine the following situation: Mom/dad has instructed you to clean your room. Imagine that your room is really messy. Mom/dad will be inspecting your room in one hour and will expect it to be clean. What do you do? Point out that most people would probably not procrastinate if they knew the deadline was ery soon.
Say: Now imagine this same situation with one minor change: You do not know when mom/dad will return to check on your room. Does this change how you will act after your parent leaves? If so, how?
Say: Sometimes we act differently when we don’t have a deadline. Without a deadline, we often succumb to the temptation to procrastinate or to let ourselves be distracted by other things. Jesus warned his disciples that the coming of the Son of Man would be much like the second situation we considered.
Say: In today’s Gospel Jesus is responding to a question from his disciples about how they will know when the Son of Man, Jesus, will return in glory. What does Jesus tell them about when this will happen? (Only the Father knows when the Son of Man will return in glory.) Why do you think this is more like the second situation we discussed above? (The timeframe is unknown.) What does Jesus tell his disciples that they should do in the meantime? (They should be alert and watchful.)
Say: During Advent, we do more than just prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Christ. The Church also wants us to remember that we must keep ourselves ready to receive Christ when he comes to us in our daily lives and at the end of time. Like the disciples, Jesus wants us to be watchful and alert so that we might recognize the signs of Christ in our midst. What are some things that we do to keep ourselves ready to receive Christ? (daily prayer, reading Scripture, staying faithful to God’s commandments, and so on)
Conclude in prayer together that we will use the season of Advent to re-commit ourselves to being watchful and alert to the signs of Christ in our midst.
Father in heaven, we give you today, all that we think, and do, and say, and we join it with all that was done by Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen