Monday, December 01, 2014

Be Watchful!

 "Lord, I am not worthy to have you under my roof..." Matthew 8:8

We Catholics say these words before Communion during every Mass. These are the words a centurion said to Jesus when he heard that Jesus was coming to his home to heal his paralyzed servant.

"Lord, I am not worthy..." this coming from a man who had authority over a hundred men in the Roman army. He could have felt entitled, as many police captains feel entitled to favor. But this centurion knew his place. When one is sick, one needs a correct diagnosis in order to get an effective prescription for medicine that will heal you. If we don't know the depth of the problem, a doctor can't help very much. That's why a doctor has all those tests done, to get the real situation.

 In this story, the centurion saw the situation for what it really was. He saw himself in relation to Christ. He recognized Jesus' authority. He knew he was not worthy to have Jesus visit him. How about us? Do we really recognize how unworthy we are in relation to God? We need to know the real situation so that God can "heal" us, and bring us to the place He wants us to be- His sons and daughters, bought by His Son's life.

Lord, I am not worthy to have you in my heart. Do your work in me, heal me, that I may have a true understanding of who I am. Beloved. Redeemed. Forgiven.

 "Be watchful!" Mark 13:33

Finally, Advent begins, and the Gospel starts with the words, "Be watchful! Be alert!" We will continue to have readings about waiting, preparation, the light in the darkness, and the coming of the promised Messiah.

In our gift business, we begin preparing for Christmas in July. Our designs for the planners, calendars, cards have to be readied for printing. We start prototypes for new items, for nativity sets, etc. We have been in business since 1967. That's 47 years! But I still have to say with a moan, that we have never been fully ready for Christmas. There's still, "Why didn't we do this?" "Why isn't this ready?" "We forgot to do this again?!!!"

And how about my heart? There's a constant struggle to balance the side of me that has to prepare for the commercial side of Christmas, with the inner preparations of my heart. There's that constant effort to remind our customers to buy their gifts early. We spruce up our stores way before the real Christmas season begins, ignoring the significance of Advent.

 How do I stay watchful in the way Jesus meant in Mark 13:33? I need to be alert to what the Lord wants to give me, to be ready and eager to receive His gifts! The gift of hope, peace, love and joy are wonderful, wonderful gifts, much more precious than anything we can find under the most marvelous of trees! I need to keep a listening ear, to hear what He wants to say to me. I need to create a space for God to show up. Just in today's readings, in Isaiah, Psalm 80, 1 Corinthians 1, and Mark 13, there was just sooo sooo much to ponder and get excited about, and to keep in my heart. All God wants is for us to be fully alive, to thrive, to have a life brimming with joy, not exhausted with the buying and wrapping of gifts, not lonely in the midst of the crowd! But joyful and eager, and yes, grateful!

Maranatha! Lord Jesus come! 

 "Be on your guard, beware, take heed that your hearts do not become drowsy, overloaded with dissipation, drunkenness, overcharged with surfeiting, overburdened and depressed, weighed down with the cares, anxieties and burdens of life..." Luke 21:34

Today is the last day of the liturgical year, tomorrow being the First Sunday of Advent. In the days and weeks preceding, the Church had a lot of readings about the last days, including this one. 

It's easy to get burdened by all the challenges life throws at you! Yesterday was extremely stressful for me as I had to deal with some BIR problems.

If we don't have the mindset that the Word of God can give us, we can easily get discouraged. Yesterday these were the words I repeated to myself: "I am more than a conqueror" (Roman 8:37) "Nothing is impossible with God!" (Luke 1:37) "The joy of the Lord is my strength!" (Nehemiah 8:10) "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" (Philippians 4:13)

And yes, I did get through the day with God's strength and the help of Luigi and my sister Tina! Praise God!!


  1. Thanks sis for this wonderful encouragement:)

  2. Your portraits are gorgeous and I love the colours you use for the backgrounds. I can tell they are thoughtfully chosen.


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