Every single one of us begins a journey an odyssey
And as we progress along the way
We have more and more power over how our journey unfolds
A little child’s progress depends so much on his or her family
Slowly as a person grows older they are able to take their
life more and more in their hands.
All of us have to find our way home
Many seem to lose their way along the journey
Some don’t even understand that they are on a journey at all
Some even stop all together
Others get side tracked
It is almost as if they fall asleep
In the Gospel Jesus uses the example of
The people of Noah's time
They were caught off guard and did not expect the flood
The fact that a man and his sons were building and ark
in the middle of a field did not even wake them up.
They simply were not convinced
Sadly when the flood came and their journey ended
The people of Noah’s time were nowhere close to home.
They were lost
They had not climbed the mountain of the Lord or walked in his path
The man of the household was asleep
he was not ready to defend himself
He didn’t even know that some had broken in
Two men in the field one is ready the other not
Two women at the mill one ready the other not.
You see when we fall asleep in the present
It is not possible for us be ready for eternity.
Perhaps one of the greatest tragedies is to be
so immersed in the present that we forget eternity.
We forget that we are on a journey
We forget that our souls will only rest in God
We forget that our happiness lies in God alone
We forget that heaven is our home and our only true destiny
Sadly sometimes working for the things on earth
things for here and now
can take all of our energy or attention
What prophet a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul ?
So you see on this first Sunday of Advent the church asks us to ponder this very important question?
Are we awake
Are we making progress
Are we becoming better people
More generous people
Sadly so many of us
Spend so much time asleep
Distracted from what is really important
So many of us are lost in the present
With no thought of the future
Lost in the moment with no desire for eternity
Some people sleep the greater part of their life
Never getting any better
Never making any progress
Never taking a step toward God
You know we always seem to think we will have more time
Or we convince ourselves that somehow
we can sleep now and catch up later
But because he loves us Jesus warns us so clearly in the Gospel
Son of Man will come when we least expect it.
We never really know how much time we have
We can’t afford to waste a minute
The only way home is to climb the mountain of the Lord
We must be instructed in his ways and walk in his path
How do we do that?
How do we keep from falling asleep ?
How do can we be instructed in the ways of the Lord and walk in his path?
Sometimes I feel like I preach on this every week..but here goes
To climb God’s holy mountain… to be instructed in his way and walk in his path
Enter into worship by living lives of prayer
Practice living virtuously
Practice living virtuously
so that living good lives becomes second nature
We have to participate in the life of the Church
Walk with it as it prays and participate as it celebrates the sacraments
We must have special place in our heart for those in need
Those people who just never seem to fit in
We must develop generous loving hearts
And be willing to try and love like God loves
You can’t go to heaven if you don’t love
It takes time to put on the armor of light
All of these virtues require practice and sacrifice
We can't become virtuous people in an instant
In a week or a year..... it takes a life time
Anymore than we can lift 200 lbs the first time we lift
Or play the piano the first time we touch the keys
We don’t have time to waste
We don’t have time to dilly dally as we journey home
We don’t have time to be complacent in our spiritual lives
On this first Sunday it is so important to take to heart the world of St. Paul
in the second reading
Now is the hour for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is far spent, the day is at draws near
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day
Are we awake ?
That's a very important question
How we answer it will determine our salvation