Prepare, wait and watch

Posted November 24, 2017 at 12:00 am

The season of fall has finally debuted as the leaves fade into rustic hues of orange, brown, yellow and burgundy. Similarly, the colors adorning the sanctuaries around the world will shift from green to white to purple, as we enter into the last week of the Liturgical Year and begin anew with Advent. We end the old year with jubilant celebration and begin a new year with a clear resolution following three principles: prepare, wait and watch.

Prepare

The Solemnity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, (aka Christ the King), celebrates the true essence of what is means to be “ruler of it all.” Comparatively reflecting, the cub Simba, in the Disney movie “The Lion King,” “can’t wait to be king” because he, seeking independence from everyone, wishes to be a ruler from a selfish heart. Ironically, through a tragic loss and the threat of total destruction by evil, he grows in understanding of the true meaning of kingship: to protect and to lead with love, courage and wisdom. It’s not about him, it’s about the good of the herd. 

Christ, our savior, was cognizant of his kingship very early on. his nature allowed him to know the role of a servant-king, as well as the cost of this leadership. Hence, Jesus modeled his royal kingship as a good shepherd. Being the creator of the universe, his love for us is truly commanding in so much as he expects humanity to simply be as good to one another as he is to us. The Good Shepherd “tends, looks after, rescues, give rest, seeks the lost, brings home, helps the wounded, heals and, yes, judges.” 

We are subject to our king, Jesus Christ, and thus are called to be like him. Why? Because “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” Each day, the faithful are to prepare for this moment. How? Jesus explicitly tells the apostles the role of discipleship and the forthcoming judgment that we are to live the faith (believe) and do good works. This is the basis for which ALL will be judged. 

Be reminded, Jesus did not say “If the son of man comes.” Rather, Jesus said, “WHEN the son of man comes…” </span id=”8″>(Mt 25:31). This will happen, sooner or later. Ask yourself, “Am I ready to meet Jesus? Am I performing good works for others (feeding, clothing, sheltering, listening, consoling, sacrificing, loving)? Do I truly believe what Jesus teaches? Do I honor Jesus, our king, in gratitude and humility by going to Mass, partaking in the Eucharist and praying (REALLY PRAYING), reading Scripture, offering fasting, living the faith? Am I prepared to see Him face to face? It will happen. 

Life_Giving Faith.pdf

Wait & Watch 

So as we prepare, we wait and watch. The Prophet Isaiah writes, “God does great deeds for us who wait.” Here it is again … patience. This world lacks the patience to wait. People are so aggravated to wait in line, wait for a call, wait for an answer, wait to grow up, wait to get to know others before asking them to change and wait on God. But we, in south Louisiana, will wait hours for a Mardi Gras parade to begin. We also prepare for that wait … food, drinks, tents, tables, chairs, music, things to keep the children busy, route to get in and out, all of this. All for what? Beads, cups, coins and a ton of laughter! It’s fun. My family will drive back and forth to New Orleans for three days to “catch” the Uptown parades, but the moment the coffee order takes too long to fill, we get aggravated! It’s true! 

Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The priest leads us in the prayer, “We wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.” And we respond, “For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.” This is precisely what we are asked to wait for … the kingdom to come through the power of THE King, Jesus! 

As we patiently wait, we WATCH for the glory of God to pass before our eyes. We see this in those we meet, greet and love. We watch the kind exchange between strangers in the grocery store. We watch a soldier come home from a tour of duty to the tearful embrace of his family. We watch our loved ones suffer with illness, only to pray even more, asking God to alleviate their suffering. We watch a family move into a new home built by the hands of volunteers. We watch the volunteer smile with a nursing home resident who rarely has visitors. We watch the sun rise and set over the land we call home, knowing this is God’s hand. 

We also prepare during this time to “watch” a young couple seek a place to rest, find shelter, in order to share the experience of the birth of the King of the universe. A birth like no other: quiet, simple, impoverished, yet full of expectation, glorious angels and a star illuminating the black sky that ultimately “will lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of his mercy.” Are you ready to meet him? Are you ready to meet your king? He has come, is present and will come again in glory. Let us joyfully prepare the way of the king. Wait. Watch. Be ready. Amen. Happy Advent! 

Dow is the director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

Bla