The beginning of a new year is often a time when we take a close look at ourselves, assess our relationships, our physical well-being, and other important areas of our lives, and make concrete plans to live fuller, healthier lives. We begin a new Liturgical Year on this First Sunday of Advent. During this season, as we embark on a new Church Year, we will hear the prophets Isaiah and John the Baptist call us to repentance and renewal.
This is a time to take a close look at our spiritual life, and make concrete plans for spiritual renewal. Do I need to spend more time in prayer, especially meditation and silence?
Do I need to experience the grace of the sacraments more frequently?
Am I nurturing my spiritual life through good spiritual reading?
Do I reach out to those in need on a daily basis?
Do I keep informed on current events, and work for a more just society?
Do I recognize barriers I have placed between myself and those different from myself which keep me from truly welcoming and serving them in love?
Am I doing all that I can to care for the environment?
Am I living up to my baptismal commitment, and the waters of new life which flow from it?
Today’s Gospel urges us to “stay awake!” In some ways we will be staying awake too much over the next few weeks: many of us will be sleep-deprived as we take part in the Christmas rush! Let’s take the time to awaken to our spiritual lives, and areas which need renewal.