Today is the first Sunday of Advent in Year C, a new Liturgical Year. When a new baby arrives, when a child graduates and when a young man finds a job and a young woman falls in love, we are excited. New life brings in possibilities for a new world and continuation of our own legacy.
We love the beginnings and we love the endings. Beginnings we love because it gives hope. We love good endings because it proves our hopes meaningful and right.
Today we hear again Jesus talking about an apocalyptic ending to the world. How can this be a joyful event at the beginning of a new season?
Don’t you like when your teenager decides to go to college and has learned all that are necessary for such a journey responsibly? What a joy at that very beginning of a success story and the hope of a great career. However when the child begins to change as a result of growth and maturation, it is hard for us to take. She is no more daddy’s little girl. He is no more Mom’s cute boy. Sometimes our stomachs churn with fear and our hearts pound harder than we can take. Parents become gray faster.
Where does it all come from? When we become powerless with all that happens around us we want someone to fix the problem for us. When we were children our toy trucks and toy kitchens broke down. We made a mess of our stuff. It was too much for us to put together. Too much stuff and too many parts. We needed help to bring order to the chaos we made. Where did we find it? We called our Daddies and mommies. We called people bigger than us to take care of our problems. In those powerless moments we needed powerful people to help us.
There are three types of people in the world; ones that want someone else to fix the problems and the second that does it on their own until they cannot and the third that does on their own and seeks help when they cannot. Those who want someone else to fix it grow to be a spoiled big kid in life. A spoiled big person waits for someone else to show up at the door step, waiting for the powerful to fix all the problems.
It is powerlessness that causes people to speculate. It comes from our inability to accept that we are primarily powerless people on our own. Left to ourselves without the grace of God, we can make a mess of our lives.
This is where the Gospel of today becomes meaningful. ‘Don’t wait around’ the Lord says. Drunkenness, dissipation, speculation, anxiety, worry and such only makes us even more powerless.
End times prophecy is a reminder for all to pay attention to what is going on around them.
There is a famous saying by C.S Lewis. When the author comes on stage you know the drama ended.
The drama will end and the earth in its present form will be desolate. Our lives will end and the author of our lives will be on stage one day to ask each of us how did you play your life? It won’t be “how did you anticipate the end”?
If my father is at the point of death and wants me to do something for him I am going to do it. He calls me aside and asks, “Jos, do you love me”. Sure dad. I do, I will say. He then tells me take care of your brother and sister. And I will say “sure dad” and even roll my eyes in disbelief as if why would he say that. Doesn’t he know that?
This is what makes us powerful. Because this is what Jesus said to Simeon Peter. “Peter, do you love me” and Peter whispered in his ears, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you”. And the Lord says, “Feed my sheep” and asks again and again, responding to him “tend my flock” and “feed my sheep”. Leave the rest to God.
Power comes from our willingness to grow up and be responsible. Power is not a result of speculation, but living. Living life daily is a sign of maturity. Living life spiritually faithful is a sign of spiritual maturity.
Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, Advent is a season calling for change in our attitude, and our actions. As like the beginnings of new life and endings with a great climax, we are called to act it out in the middle.
Now let us ask ourselves three questions.
1. Will I be afraid to meet God today?
2. If I am, what can I do to change it?
3. If not, what will you do next?
Fr. Jos Tharakan