S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, November 26, 2005

First Sunday of Advent -- A Time to Go Back to God

Advent marks the start of a new liturgical year in the Church. It prepares us for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The whole season is divided into two parts, the first beginning with the First Sunday of Advent up to December 16, when we Catholics, are being reminded by the Church to reflect upon and pray about the parousia, Christ's second coming at the end of the world. the second part starts on December 17 up to December 24, when we are being prepared by the Church to celebrate worthily the memory of Christ's first coming. It therefore prepares us for the great solemnity of Christmas.

Today's Gospel speaks of Christ admonishing His listeners to prepare always for they know not when His second coming will be. He therefore exhorts us to be vigilant and to be ready to meet him all the time.

This Gospel passage reminds me of a simple story about a watchmaker. There was a certain watchmaker in the town. One day, a young man bought a writstwatch from him. Before the young man could leave, he told him to come to his place every quarter for him to check on the watch and to make sure it is in good condition. The young man said yes, and so he went on his way. But soon after, he forgot about the word of the watchmaker. He was caught up by his hectic life. So years passed by.

One day, his watch broke down. He went to a friend and asked him what to do with it. His friend advised him to just tap it, maybe it just needs to be shaken. So he did. Well enough, the watch worked again. But after a month, the watch broke down again. And so, he went to another friend to ask what to do about it. This friend advised him to toss the watch in the air and allow it to fall down. This he did. And well enough, the watch worked again.

But after a month, the watch broke down again. Having remembered what his friends told him, he tapped, he tossed in the air his watch. But nothing happened. It was then and there that he remembered what the watchmaker told him the day he bought the watch. And so, he went back to the watchmaker.

The watchmaker fixed the watch and told the young man why he failed to come back. It was only him who could fix the watch since he was the one who made it.

Many times in our lives we fail to remember to go back to God. We busy ourselves with the demands of daily living and we forget to commune with Him, telling Him our pains and asking Him to strengthen us. When tribulations came, we just content ourselves with solutions that do not really solve the problem at its core. In the end, the problem is never resolved.

Advent perhaps is the time of the liturgical year when we remind ourselves that coming back to God is important and necessary in our lives as Christians. To be sorry for the wrongs we have committed, for not being vigilant and ready for His coming, a kind of coming that happens every moment of everyday -- through people and events.

So, as we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent, we beg the Lord for the grace that we may truly be ready for His "comings" in our lives. AMEN.


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