These Advent readings are about beginnings and endings. We are living in a time of endings and beginnings. The old world is passing away. It is not clear what kind of world is coming into being. That will depend on you and me.
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God" Mark 1:1.
This mandala, gives us a complete picture of the year of salvation 2024. Purple is Advent and Lent. Green is Ordinary time, time for waiting. Gold is the Incarnation and the Resurrection; Red is Holy Week.
Everyday is consecrated. Time is blessed. Living is sacred.
Between Birth and death, Qoheleth tells us,
“There is nothing better than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; that everyone eat and drink seeing good in all their labor—this is the gift of God. 14 Everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it. There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.”
The year of salvation 2024 connects each of us to each day, to each saint, to each celebration, to the past and future, in the here and now in the Kingdom of Heaven. A time of grace! A holy year! A history of Victory for our God.
Be awake and watchful.
The prophet Isaiah tells us, “With the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.” What are our 70, 80 or 100 years to God?
Psalm 8 sings,
Lord, oh Lord, how wonderful is your name in all the earth! When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what [are we] that you are mindful of [us], [human beings] that you care for [us]?[c]
5 You have made [us] a little lower than the angels[e]
and crowned [us] with [your] glory and honor.
6 You made [us] rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under [our] feet:
7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, Oh Lord, how wonderful is your name in all the earth!
The Lord is patient with us not wishing that any should fail but that all should come to the glory of God.
But for those who are asleep, those who are distracted, those who are deceived, those who are besotted by the image of themselves on social media, the Day of the Lord will come like the FBI with subpoena in hand.
The day of the Lord will come like a teenage boy with an AR-15 or handgun.
The day of the Lord will come like a virus shared by a touch, church the day of the Lord will come like tourist storming the capital of the United States of America.
So do not be caught asleep, but awake engaged in the works of the Kingdom of Heaven.
In this year of Revelation -personal and national- each of us has a work to accomplish. Each of us is given a talent to invest and not bury. Each of us has a spiritual light to shine and not hide under a basket.
When the Lord returns may he meet each of us able to testify to the works we have accomplished.
That OLPH has gone into the whole world proclaiming the joy of the Gospel of life, to every creature; baptizing the unconnected in fire, in water and in blood. vanquishing demons that justify abortion, antisemitism and dictatorships.
Speaking new languages, man-handling all kinds of serpents, consuming and detoxifying deadly lies, laying hands on sick souls that they may recover. (MK. 16:15-18).
At the time of Thanksgiving, may your harvest be abundant, your connections be many and strong. When the lord returns in 2024, may his blessing be upon you, "Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful with a few things"….. enter into the beauty, the goodness, the joy, the glory and the victory of the Kingdom of Heaven.