1st Sunday of Advent Year B - 26/11/2020 - Gospel: Mk 13: 33-37
Stay Awake

Jesus uses an image of a master who is going away, leaving behind his estate for his servants to take care of the business (vv. 33-34). In this parable the Master is Jesus; His servants are Jesus' disciples, and the business is what prophet Isaiah had prophesised, and that is 'to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon' Is.42,7. The hour of His return is known as Jesus' second coming, at the end of time. The end time is certain, but when it will happen is uncertain. Because of the uncertainty, Jesus' disciples need to stay awake to welcome Him whenever He comes. Staying awake for a limited time is easy, but staying awake for a long time is a real challenge for everyone. 'The parable of the ten virgins' who were waiting for the groom's coming, all fell asleep because they were passively waiting. Mt 25:1-11. It was the same for Jesus' apostles in the garden, Jesus was praying, and he was fully awake, while all His apostles were  sleeping; caused by passive waiting. To avoid falling into such situations, Jesus' disciples need to engage in doing something good to keep them staying awake. In other words, we need to put our talents into useful and active modes. It is impossible to stay awake when one is staying idle, better known as 'passive waiting'. When we do nothing, our mind tunes into a passive mode, and we feel drowsy. Children are fully awake when they are active; when they are in an inactive mode, sitting in a car, they soon fall into sleep because of their inactivity. Staying awake works best when we are active, doing something good and useful. It is better still when we are doing something with others, and for others. By doing that, we invest our lives into the lives of others by providing services. It means we cooperate with the spirit of the Lord, being guided by the Spirit to do the same kind of ministry Jesus initiated while He was on earth. It means to make God's love relevant to the lives of the poor, the needy, and the marginalized. Lk 4,18ff.

Staying awake is an act of faith. When we believe the promise a person made that s/he will return, we will wait for that person to return. We wait in hope, and we would love to do something to make that person feel, that s/he is welcomed. Jesus has promised, that He will return. Staying awake means we truly believe in His word. We make His word alive in our heart. We truly believe He will return for the second time, and we hope to see Him one day. Through prayers we show our faith in His word alive. Through prayers we keep in touch with Jesus. We are aware of His active presence in our life. Knowing that our guest is coming, and doing nothing to make the guest feel welcome, is not the action of a good host. Knowing that Jesus will return to meet us, and not doing anything to welcome Him, we would need to ask ourselves how do we fulfil our duty as Jesus' disciples. Jesus expects us to do nothing for himself, because He lacks nothing, but He expects us to do something for His people, because He loves them and wants us to be His hands and feet. We thank Jesus for allowing each of us to be a 'Christ bearer' for others.