CCUSA Advent Reflection: 1st Sunday of Advent (Mark Barry, Mission Advancement)

Posted 12/03/2017

Catholic Charities USA: Advent Reflection
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 1st Sunday of Advent

Submitted by Mark Barry, Director of Mission Advancement, Catholic Charities of Tennessee

Readings: IS 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7; PS 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19; 1 COR 1:3-9; MK 13:33-37

The holidays, from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, often include travel. Regardless of the complexity of the travel, some planning is needed.

Imagine wanting to fly somewhere, for example, but not being able to confirm the exact day and time for your flight's departure. How would you be ready?

Or, imagine having your flight reservation confirmed, but the airport doesn't post any gate departure information. How would you find your plane?

In Mark's Gospel reading today, that is almost the situation - albeit in a time long before air travel - in which the disciples find themselves. They know where they want to go, but they just don't know when the "plane" is leaving? It's very disconcerting.

"You do not know when the time will come," Jesus told them. "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."

Just as we need signs and information at the airport, we ask God for signs each and every day for our journey with Him. "Let us see your face and we shall be saved," the psalmist wrote.

"Give us a clue, God," we plea. "Let us know when you plan to arrive; we promise... we will be ready." If only we know the exact time and day...

We want to go on that journey, but we are not naturally inclined to "just be ready." We get caught up in the day-to-day distractions of life, even more so during this time of the year. It is so hard to "just be ready."

As we all begin this beautiful season of Advent - a season of waiting and preparation - know that we have already received all of the information we need. He will be here...on His time.

"Be watchful! Be alert!"

Mark Barry is Director of Mission Advancement for Catholic Charities of Tennessee, serving the Diocese of Nashville. He has been with the agency for 7-1/2 years; for nearly 5 of those years, he has served on the CCUSA Development/Communications Interest Group Steering Team.

To sign up for the CCUSA Advent Reflection, click here.

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