December 3, 2017
First Sunday of Advent
I Corinthians 1:3-9
THE GOSPEL READING:
Questions for Reflection:
The weeks leading to Christmas are often filled with much activity. Along with work, school, and church responsibilities, there are special holiday festivities to which we will attend. Staying "awake," as Mark 13 stresses, may not be the problem - in fact, we may feel there are not enough hours in the day! Yet, this reading from Mark counsels us to be awake to, to pay attention to, what is most needful for our well-being and the well-being of the world: God's presence, God's appearing among us. Here at the beginning of Advent, how will you "keep alert" for God in the midst of so many responsibilies and distractions?
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life today. I give thanks that your face shines upon me - for you are my salvation. Lead me like a shepherd through this day. Strengthen me for whatever lies ahead. Grant me the spiritual gifts of peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness, for I want to show your love, in word and deed, to others. In Christ's name. Amen.
Though you have told us to keep awake, O Lord, you have also blessed us with rest and sleep. Grant me such rest in the hours ahead that I awaken with eager longing for a new day, ready for you to be revealed in mundane moments and ordinary encounters. By your grace prepare me, whether awake or asleep, to greet you: in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn. All times are in your hands, and I, too, am in your hands, faithful God. In Jesus' name I rest and pray. Amen.