Is 2:1-5; Rom 13:11-14a; Matt 24:35-44
In our lives we encounter different types of preparation because we are waiting for someone to come or something to happen into our lives. We spend a lot of money and energy for these preparations. For example, preparing a party, a preparation for our own career or for our own wedding and for the birth of a baby. Another one is preparation for moving into another house or for building a new home or for retirement and many more. We are so very excited about these to come or to happen. But how many of us are preparing for our own death so that we can enter in the Kingdom of God. Actually this is not the core of my sharing with you today. I’m just mentioning it in order for us to reflect if we are on the right tract.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent as you know, means “coming.” In our gospel today, it speaks about watchfulness and preparation on our part.
There was a story of a certain person by the name of Nilo. He dreamed always that God is talking to him. One night, in his dream, God spoke to him, saying: “Nilo, I want to meet you in personal.”
Nilo was so excited and he asked God: “When will be that time, my Lord?” God answered: “Tomorrow at six o’clock in the evening.” So Nilo was preparing everything – food, his house, he bought new dress and others. At six o’clock in the evening, everything was prepared and he was waiting for God but God did show up at that time. At seven o’clock God did not show up again.
At eight o’clock in the evening, a beggar was knocking at his door asking for something to eat but he did not give anything. He told the beggar that he is waiting for a very important person (VIP) and told that he could not entertain him. “Get out of my way!” Nilo shouted at the beggar. So the beggar went away sad and hungry.
At nine o’clock in the evening, a man knocking at his door again asking for help because his son got sick. But Nilo said: “I don’t have money, I spent it already because I’m waiting for a very important person, my God.” So the man went home bringing nothing.
At ten o’clock in the evening there was no God coming until he got sleep. God talked to him in his dream. Nilo was angry and he said to God: “My Lord, why did you not show up, I’m waiting for you. I prepared everything for you. I did not see even you shadow.”
God answered: I did. I fulfilled my promise. Did you remember the beggar knocking at your door? It was me. Did you remember the man asking you for help? It was me again but you sent me away. You do not recognize me. You don’t like me.”
My dear friends, what are we waiting for? What are we preparing for? What are we looking for? Are we looking for a miracle? If we are waiting for Christ to be born, Christ was already born two thousand years ago. He is our Savior and our brother too. If we are waiting for the Holy Spirit to dwell among us, He is already in us but we do not recognize His presence and role in our lives. If we are waiting for the Church to be born, the Church is already in our midst. If we are waiting for the faith, God gives everything to us. What are we waiting for? Every Sunday, we attend Mass, we pray and have our novena. We receive the body of Christ and Christ becomes a part of us. But after the Mass, we return to our old habits. What God is looking from us is a changed way of life, a new direction and a renewed life. A life by which we can see the face of Christ in other people especially the lowly. As Christ said: “What you do to the least of brothers you it unto me.” This changed way of life should not only be now, but it should be Now And Forever. It’s like the movie of Sharon Cuneta and Richard Gomez, Ngayon At Kailanman, (or Now And Forever).
To end this sharing of mine, I would like to share with you a story. It is about a Master asking a question to his disciples. He said: “How can we determine that another day will come?” His disciples answered: “Because tonight is evening, so tomorrow is the sign that another day will come.
“No, when the sun begin to rise, that is the sign that another day will come,” answered the other disciples.
The Master answered: You did not get the right answer my dear disciples. As long as you remain in darkness, there will be no another day in your life.”
This is true my dear friends, as long as we do not see the face of Christ in other people, we will remain in darkness. As long as you do not show to other people the face of Christ through you, there will be no tomorrow and there will be no other day to come in our lives.
I ask you reflect on this. Let us also pray to God that He may give us His grace of waiting so that we may become more vigilant and still awake when He will come again.
See Today’s Readings: Cycle A