Many parents today could empathise with the father asking each of his two sons to work in their vineyard. It is not an unreasonable request. Presumably their livelihood relies on the income from the vineyard, and the father speaks not harshly but with affection, “My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.”
Living in the time of waiting
29 November 2020 - 1st Sunday Advent Year B
When COVID-19 began to impact negatively on all aspects of our lives, we questioned when the situation would turn around for the better. We heard a lot of predictions but, in reality, no one knew when the pandemic would end. And we still don’t.
Today, we begin the Advent journey of waiting for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. In today’s gospel Jesus speaks of a man who travels abroad, leaving his servants in charge, warning them to stay awake, always prepared and ready for his return. Jesus reminds us that we should stay awake, ready for his return: “Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.”
So, we await the coming of the Lord. But no one knows when it is going to happen. This should not frighten or confuse us. Our faith tells us that the Lord will come and he will come unexpectedly. During his earthly life, Jesus showed us that God is all loving and merciful, faithful to His people and to His promises. So, we wait in readiness and with a sure hope and joyful expectation for the Lord’s coming.
The pandemic and other struggles we encounter day-to-day might lead us sometimes to doubt and question the presence of God in our lives and our world. It is sometimes especially hard to wait for the Lord’s coming while we are facing the fear and the difficulties life brings. But the first coming of the Saviour – as a babe, born like us and sharing in our human experience, its joys and its sorrows – assures us that our faith and our hope for his return is well-founded.
Jesus left us with a simple commandment, yet a challenging one. “Love God and love your neighbour.” It really is as simple – and as difficult – as that. The length of the period of waiting for his coming does not matter, but the quality of our discipleship does matter. We are called to live “the time of waiting” by loving and placing our trust in God, and by caring for one another – especially the poor, needy and vulnerable in our world – and for the whole of God’s creation.
But we must stay awake! We do not know the time, but we must prepare and be ready for his coming! This is vital. We can be sure, through it all, that God cares for us and continues to love us. The Holy Spirit, our advocate, guides and teaches us to live the life of discipleship to which we are called as followers of Jesus, our Saviour.
Let us be joyful and join with Saint Paul by saying, “I never stop thanking God for all the graces we have received through Jesus Christ.”
Redempt Jawa CSsR
© Majellan Media 2020
Many of the grim-faced youths waiting to have their feet washed that Holy Thursday were heavily tattooed. They were familiar with the harsh realities of crime and violence. Nevertheless, the elderly figure knelt before them, gently washed then dried their feet, and kissed their feet lovingly.
A wandering preacher’s violent execution by a long-gone empire a couple thousand years ago is the salvation of the world? That eccentric rabbi is the king of heaven and earth? Are you joking? He said what? It is more blessed to give than to receive? He taught who will inherit the earth? Everybody knows what happens to the meek: they lose. Every time. If I strike you, and you turn the other cheek, I won. Right?