Commentary on the Gospel of
As I write this reflection, the U.S. celebration of Thanksgiving has not yet arrived. Every year, the seasons seem to come and go faster and faster. It is as though our lives are on fast-forward and we feel incapable of pushing the button that could return us to a normal speed, or even, (gasp) put us in slow motion.
What if we could do that? What if we could live, now and then, in slow motion? Wouldn’t that force us to notice the small things, the quiet things, the soft things in our lives? We would see the intricacies in a spider web, a flower, an old man’s face. We would smell the scents of an ordinary day, not just the pungent smells that are either very good or very bad.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns us to, “Beware that your ears do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness,” and, “Be vigilant at all times.” These commands from Jesus require us to slow down, to think before having a second glass of wine, to run every choice we have in our lives through the filter of, “Will this take me closer to my heavenly goal, or further away?”
Advent begins tomorrow. Advent, in modern times, has become the antidote to the insane rush and crush of the Christmas season. Advent, if fully appreciated, says, “Slow down. Why the hurry? Think of the fact that God became a human, and simply by following him and inviting him into our lives, we can find peace in this life and eternal life in the next.”
But we have to slow down. We will miss the message and the promise if we keep going at breakneck speed. This year, let’s do it. Let’s slow ourselves down and reflect. If we do that, we will remain vigilant. Creighton’s Online Ministries program offers some wonderful Advent resources to help us do just that.