Father Michael Barrow

From the parish of St Francis of Assisi

Advent - Becoming Aware Of God's Presence: A Reflection On The Sunday Gospel By Fr. Michael Barrow, SJ

Advent - Becoming Aware Of God's Presence: A Reflection On The Sunday Gospel  By Fr. Michael Barrow, SJ
Fr. Michael Barrow, SJ

ADVENT – BECOMING AWARE OF GOD'S PRESENCE

"Wake up, you're daydreaming!" I don't know how many times my primary school teacher had to say that to me. I used to wonder why she said "Wake up" when she knew that I was not asleep. But she knew I was not paying attention or even aware of what was going on in the classroom. I think that's what Jesus means when he says "Stay awake." Not because we are falling asleep but a way of telling us to become aware and realise just what is happening before our very eyes. Those words of his are often quoted during Advent.

To keep us on our toes, Jesus tells us to imagine how wide awake and attentive we would be if we heard someone was going to burgle our house and we knew what time of night they were coming. He uses that image to get us to wake up to what is happening in our lives. I know sometimes Advent is described as a time of waiting for Christ to come at Christmas, but it is much more than that. It's a period of four weeks in which we gradually step-by-step become more and more aware of God's presence in our lives – so by the time we get to Christmas with all the decorations and presents and partying and all that, underneath it all we have a more vivid awareness of God in our lives and our family. The whole atmosphere is coloured and lit up by it.I remember once when a class of children were asked to say what love is, 7-year-old Bobby said, "Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

To prepare for Sunday Mass of Advent it is a good idea to read and give thought to the readings in your missal or Bible. Here are some questions to ponder. First Reading [Isaiah 2:1-5] "They will hammer their swords into ploughshares." Are there swords in your life and how could you hammer them into ploughshares? Second Reading [Romans 13:11-14] How do you "wake up" to the presence of Christ in your life? Gospel [Matt 24:37-44] "The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Does he come just once or more frequently?

Fr. Michael


Mass Preparation Tips:


To prepare for Sunday Mass of Advent it is a good idea to read and give thought to the readings in your missal or Bible. Here are some questions to ponder.

First Reading [Isaiah 2:1-5] "They will hammer their swords into ploughshares." Are there swords in your life and how could you hammer them into ploughshares? 

Second Reading [Romans 13:11-14] How do you "wake up" to the presence of Christ in your life?

Gospel [Matt 24:37-44] "The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Does he come just once or more frequently? 

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