Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature
(Mark 16: 15)
The real Jesus, is the real answer to the real needs of the world!
Let us remember God’s teaching, contained in His Word and in doing
I Say To Everyone: “Watch”
Advent 1 Year B St. Mark 13: 32 — 37
1. Even the most sincere, average Christian today, especially in Western society would wonder what you were going on about if you started repeating our Lord’s words: “Be watchful! Stay alert!” If you persevered, the word, “crackpot” may even enter into the conversation. We are far removed from a culture which encourages true watchfulness and alertness. In fact, our society discourages such attention to what is really going on, and nurtures a superficial attitude to world events, numbing our consciences in many ways, especially through extreme bias in the news media.
Perhaps this is why the Season of Advent is almost, now, entirely ignored. But Christians are called to watch very closely the manipulations of the “big players”, together with the camouflaged corruption at all levels of modern society. One does not have to be obsessed with conspiracy theories to try to be truly watchful and alert. We need to ensure we do not let ourselves be drawn into downward spiralling values. It is hard work, but a lot is at stake.
2. In many countries, region by region, there is a clamping down on open celebrations of traditional festivals, especially Jewish and Christian. This is often at the request of one particular religion or political philosophy, demanding “equal treatment for all”. What is surprising, is not who is making these requests systematically throughout Western society: but rather the massive support for them from the authorities, without any resistance or support for traditional Christian celebrations. This gives us all the more reason to become galvanised into making decisions about how we live the Christian life. A good start, at the beginning of the new Christian year, is to prepare for the coming of our Lord in whatever ways are appropriate for us.
3. Perhaps we could blend into our day-to-day Christian living some simple devotion which helps us keep our focus on the real reason for Christmas, and our gratitude to God for the great gift which the season is all about. At the same time we could take steps within our personal reach to avoid, as best we reasonably can, the artificiality of the “end of year festivities”, and maintain some degree of Christian watchfulness.
Let us pray for one another that we will be able to keep a focus on the call of Jesus “to watch” — to stay on spiritual alert and be ready to play our part as Salvation History unfolds before us.