Katie Lucchesi's picture

Advent is almost here! Some people cringe at that thought because what that actually means to them is the concept that Christmas is right around the corner and therefore the frenzie that is the holiday season has begun. It’s not the ‘Advent’ season anymore, it’s the ‘Holiday’ season which consumes us and leads us to forget what we are truly supposed to be remembering at this time in the Church year. I’m sure it’s pretty evident what I am going to talk about today in my reflection, but I mean c’mon, sometimes, it’s the obvious that we need to be reminded of.

            I don’t know if any of you ever sang the song ‘Stay Awake, Be Ready, you do not know the hour when the Lord is coming; Stay Awake, Be Ready, the Lord is coming soon”, but I sure did (if you couldn’t already tell). It’s one of those songs that reminds me of grade school mass or music class and every now and then I will get it caught in my brain and it will not get out! But how fitting is that for our Advent season.

            I don’t know about you, but I sure do not get enough sleep in my week! I also wish for a few more minutes, or that I could really stop and use a nap, and when I’d like to get to bed early one night, the time just fills up. However, with that built up of lack of sleep, I slowly begin to have a harder time ‘staying awake’ whether it be physically because my eyes begin to close, or spiritually, which so often happens as I let God kind of go to the side and leave Him for another time when I feel more wide awake and attentive. Something tells me, God is not okay with that J. What’s the point in trying to stay awake for God only on MY time?? It defeats the whole purpose of Him coming like ‘a thief in the night’ unexpectedly.

         I feel that this is a great opportunity to truly be present and awake for God on God’s time, not when we feel well-rested… it’s not up to us believe it or not. I struggle with this passage at times because I feel the need to be perfect and make sure I am always on top of my game and never have a bad day, but something tells me that that is not what God means by staying awake and being ready for Him. It’s not about doing everything right, but it’s about preparing ourselves for God every day. God doesn’t expect perfection, He expects us to try for Him, to prepare ourselves to be ready for Him when we least expect it. It’s that mantra that you never realize how precious life really is until it’s gone, so instead of waiting for that to come prepare! Maybe stop focusing so much on what you need to buy for that big day at the end of December or complaining about those people who cut in front of you in traffic, and prepare your hearts and minds fully for Jesus by remembering how he would have acted in those situations. Maybe preparing means giving something up this season, (I know I know, it’s not Lent, but you can still give stuff up!) or taking time to really spend with someone in need, or maybe choosing to give more prayer time to your week. I may not know what exactly it is that YOU need for your preparation, but whatever it takes to get you to stay awake, get on it right now!! Make sure you get some ‘extra sleep’ in your life for these upcoming weeks in whatever way you need it to be (giving something up that is not life-giving or too time consuming, spending more time with the family, giving extra to the poor this year instead of extravagant presents…). Whatever it is, as we begin the new liturgical year, I just want to pray that God blesses you in this time and graciously gives you all that you need to be fully prepared for the coming of his son in just a few short weeks.