Watch and Wait

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 13:33-37.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”


Reflection

Hacking and data intrusion is our version of Jesus’ comparison today. While most of us are oblivious to the dangers of being connected to the internet, there are individuals who by reason of fun, challenge, surveillance, or even ill-intent are hard at work peeling off the layers of security that protect us in this connected world. People never know when they are hacked. It happens silently as the user is happily browsing his Facebook feed and notifications or curiously clicking a dubious link.

The same warning given to all tech-savvy and internet-connected citizens was given by Jesus. “Be watchful! Be alert!” It is a warning that pushes us to prepare. Our naivete and disregard in our online behavior is but a mirror of what happens in flesh-and-blood reality and in the depths of our Christian inner life. We live our online life, physical life, and spiritual life not in an atmosphere of the YOLO but always in anticipation of what is coming.

What and who then is coming? The Lord of the house of which we were put in charge. As we begin this Advent season, the Church reminds us to put our affairs, our lives, our house, in order so that when the Lord comes, he finds everything well, nay, better. This season of Advent is a privileged period for us to prepare spiritually and physically for the birth of Jesus.

Our watching out is not seeped in anxiety but in hopeful anticipation. We watch out not because we don’t want Jesus to find us sleeping in our sins, but that despite of our failures we stayed awake waiting for him. Advent is a time of preparation. There is no better preparation than repentance and reconciliation with God and with others.



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