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How Will You Respond?

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

From Father Jeffrey V. Romans…

Blessings as we begin the Holy Season of Advent. Yesterday we began this holy season conscious of our call to “watch.” That is the Advent call to watch, to be alert, to stay awake! This is a season of waiting and hoping! Waiting and hoping certainly have been a part of our lives these past nine months as we have dealt with this pandemic: waiting and hoping for an end to this pandemic and for a vaccine to enable us to return to some “normalcy.”

Advent calls us to wait and hope! The drama of this sacred time is marked by a sense of waiting, of hopeful anticipation, and vigilance for the coming of Jesus Christ among us as man at Christmas and for His second coming when He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Advent asks us are we ready for that moment? Are we prepared to meet Christ? Are we ready or prepared to trustingly allow God to be God in sharing our hearts and our lives?

Like our ancestors in the faith, we are living in a time in which the vulnerabilities of the human family have been exposed. But, as one of my favorite hymns of all time, and a classic Christmas hymn, reminds us – “a thrill of hope [in God inspires] the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” The light glowing from the candle of our Advent wreathe signifies our vigilance, the flame of faith that has not been overcome by the darkness of this world, and which reminds us that our lives, here and now, participate in the eternity of God’s plan of salvation, won for us already in Christ.

That awareness gives us the strength and rekindles within us the fire of hope that inspires us to cry: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” That awareness calls us to prepare each day for that moment when we will meet Christ the Lord.”

Today, we take a moment to reflect on the call of Saint Andrew along with his bother Simon Peter. There is one aspect of their call that always strikes me. It is how the scriptures say “at once they left their nets and followed him.”

What would compel someone to drop everything—relationships, family, profession, material possessions—to follow someone they knew little to nothing about? Here was this itinerant preacher whom they perhaps heard something about but certainly did not know him well, who is coming toward them on his way by the Sea of Galilee, who sees Andrew and Simon Peter and simply calls them “come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And they follow him at once!

Where is the questioning, where is the reflecting on consequences, where is the doubting, where is the struggle with the call that most of us would have? It is not there. They hear his call and at once follow him. WOW.

The beginning of Advent is an opportunity for us to evaluate, or reevaluate, our own responsiveness to the call of the Lord in our lives. I pray each of us will imitate the response of Andrew and Simon Peter and upon hearing His call immediately respond by following Him. They did not immediately or completely understand all that this response would entail and yet they left everything to follow Him. May we follow their example. May they intercede on our behalf so that we too may never hesitate to follow the Lord and answer His call knowing that He is our Hope, a Hope that is never cancelled. And may our hearing His call, and answering His call, help us to be better prepared for His coming at the end of time. Happy Advent everyone! Let’s get waiting, watching, preparing, and hoping!

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