Word To Life
Sunday Scripture Readings, Dec. 1, 2013
By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service
December 1, First Sunday of Advent
Cycle A. Readings:
1) Isaiah 2:1-5
2) Romans 13:11-14
Gospel: Matthew 24:37-44
I read in a recent magazine article that an increasing number of young American women are choosing to remain single. Although they may enjoy dating and the company of men, they wish to pursue careers or other interests unencumbered by commitments of having a spouse and children, it explained.
Not so for Libby, the 30-something woman in my family. She has long desired to have a husband and children, and she makes no secret of the fact. But she hasn't found the right man. Well-meaning friends and family offer what she says is becoming a tiresome refrain: "One day, when you aren't looking for him, he'll come along." She has a standard response: "I'm 30. I want to have a family. I'm always looking."
As we enter the season of Advent, hopefully that same intensity characterizes our desire for God in our lives -- so that we are always looking for him. Our human nature, as God created it, constantly wants deeper meaning that only God can provide. For that, we watch and wait.
But the Scriptures for this week urge us to more than simple watchfulness. "You also must be prepared," Jesus told his disciples. Their forefathers in the days of Noah got so lost in their selfish, worldly interests, he explained, that they weren't looking for God and hadn't prepared for the possibility of a new, more meaningful life that God would offer. Consequently, they were swept away in a flood.
It's the ultimate case of what we call missing the boat.
Libby has realized she can't control or know when the right person will come along to share her life. But while she keeps watching for him, she is preparing herself to be able to fully love and serve another. She is trying to be more generous and selfless; she is practicing patience, forgiveness and kindness so that her hoped-for partner will find in her everything he needs.
So it must be as we watch constantly for God. We practice the ways of Christ so that whenever he comes to enter our lives, we are prepared to return his love and serve him in gratitude.
How can you prepare yourself for Christ to enter your life? What specific attitudes and changes do you need to change in order to be one with him?
"For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; ... put on the Lord Jesus Christ." -- Romans 13:11, 14
Copyright © 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS Word To Life column may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service.