Watch and Wait for the Lord Comes

12-03-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today begins this special season of advent. It is a time of prayer, a time of repentance and a time of preparation. Advent ushers us into the new liturgical year of the church when we prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas, recall His coming many years ago and prepare for His coming at the end of our life. The word advent comes from the Latin word, “Adventum”, meaning, “coming”, but the question is, who will come? Jesus, even though He has come two thousand years ago, He comes every day in our life and we are called to get ready to receive Him anytime He comes.

Today’s gospel passage opens with the word “watch” and the chapter ends with the same word from Jesus “watch”. Why are we called to watch? We are called to watch and be ready to receive the Lord at Christmas, to be prepared for the final coming of the Lord which is uncertain when human history would come to an end. No one is sure when this would happen, but it would surely come to pass. Thus, we are called to keep watch by our way of living so that the day does not take us unaware.

When we are expecting a very important person or some guests to come, a particular reality called waiting is very imminent. When we wait, we feel anxious, uneasy, impatient, and unsure if that person will come. Fr. Munachi said of Victor Frankl in his book entitled, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ tells a story of how he survived the atrocities of the concentration camp in Auschwitz. Frankl said that one of the worst sufferings at Auschwitz was waiting: waiting for the war to end, waiting for an uncertain date of release and waiting for death to end the agony. Waiting is one of the large realities of life. And there is so much waiting in life. Parents wait for the school bell to ring to pick up their kids. There is waiting at the table for food to be served. There is waiting for graduation, payday, and publication of those who passed the exam. There is waiting for healing, for the pain to stop and many more.

So, how do we prepare ourselves to be able to wait for the Lord, especially as we begin this advent season? First, let us renew our attitude to God and the Church. Let there be more commitment to our faith and our involvement in our church and parish activities. Second, let us renew our attitude to the sacrament of reconciliation and Eucharist. Let us renew our prayer life that God becomes the center of our lives. Third, let us renew the way we act and speak to others. A saying goes: “Action speaks louder than words”. Actions are very important. Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical letter, said that today we don’t need good teachers, what we need are witnessing teachers.

Fr. Tony Okolo C.S.Sp., V.F.