Henri Nouwen tells us God is a God of the present moment. Recently, a friend gave me a booklet of Advent reflections. The title is “The Time to Be Awake.” Yes, Advent calls us to be awake. The word Advent means “coming.” Who is coming? What is coming?
Jesus, our Savior, is coming. Not really. Jesus came more than 2,000 years ago. What is coming is our remembering his coming and celebrating it with joy and gratitude. We can do that only if we are awake to the present moment. It seems to me that Jesus doesn’t live in the past or in the future. Jesus lives here, now. It is time to be awake. It is sometimes difficult in our sleep-deprived world. Perhaps what we mean is it is time to be aware.
In our consumeristic society, Advent often gets lost. Christmas songs are already being played on the radio and television and in shopping malls. Christmas decorations have been out since the beginning of November.
Stay awake is good advice. Awake to the opportunities to do what Jesus did when he physically walked the earth. He touched. He healed. Who would he touch today? He would touch the sick, the lonely and immigrants at the border to let them know they are welcome. Jesus himself was an immigrant when Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt for his protection.
What would Jesus touch? He would touch the Earth, Our Common Home, and heal it of all that humanity has done to abuse it.
Yes, it is time to be awake and to live in the present moment with gratitude and joy.
By: Sister Marietta Wethington, OSU