Advent prayer is filled with prophetic voices calling us to new life. “You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep”. To awaken, to open our eyes and to see what surrounds us, this is one of the themes of Advent. Christ is near with a new vision and a new message, a message of hope, of love, of unity and a renewed relationship with God. We need to be awake to hear it. We need to be awake to shake off the torpor of our accommodations to the superficial values and violence in which we are immersed. Advent is a time of waiting in the darkening world alert to the signs of God’s presence in our midst, ready to respond to every ray of light which awakens us to truth.
Rouse me from insensitivity and lack of awareness. Transform my small preoccupations into alertness.
I will be “awake” to the differences between the message of Christ and the messages that are preached by the systems in which I am immersed daily.
You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Romans 13: 11-12
They watch for Christ
who are sensitive, eager, apprehensive in mind
who are awake, alive, quick-sighted
who look for him in all that happens, and
who would not be surprised,
who would not be over-agitated or overwhelmed,
if they found he was coming at once.
John Henry Newman
The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The experience of spiritual power is basically a joyful one.
Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.
CONNECTIONS, 11-28-93, Life Is an Advent Season
The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans. Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.
Rev. Alfred McBride