“What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” (Mk 13:37). This is the conclusion of this Sunday’s Gospel, First of Advent.
“Watch!”. That act of watching has so many different meanings. Indeed, one of caution: we don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised by the unexpected, we don’t want to be hurt, despoiled, ashamed. That is, in part, the message of this weekend’s Gospel.
But the reality of watching goes beyond the alert, to mean something very positive. On the one hand, it refers to the attitude of watching with great expectation for the Lord who comes. He came humble and vulnerable in Bethlehem, He will come in glory and splendor at the end of time, He comes to us daily and we are called to contemplate his face.
On the other hand, it also refers to an inner look into ourselves. Watch what is inside: the beauty and the challenges. The beauty, as the second reading (Corinthians) states: “in him you were enriched in every way”. The challenge: “Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?”
Advent is a good opportunity for hope, through prayer and repentance, through confession. Nothing better to prepare for his coming than cleaning our eyes: “Watch!”
Fr. Javier Nieva, DCJM