Nov 302011

By Fr. Andrew Kelly

According to Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 13:33-37), during the Advent season the community of believers has one task only: “And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake and watch.”
Sometimes the community forgets that it is a community of slaves committed to living Jesus’ compassionate words and deeds. On the day of baptism, believers became Jesus’ slaves.

Each slave within the community has a particular task and ministry within the community that is to be performed 24/7 until such time the community’s master, Jesus, returns from a journey.

No one knows when Jesus will return but the community believes Jesus will return.  Therefore the community takes Jesus’ words very seriously:

“It is like a man traveling abroad.  He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work … Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming …”

What is Advent like within Jesus’ slave community? It stays awake and watches while feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving shelter to the homeless, healing the sick, and working constantly for justice and peace. The list is endless. But Jesus’ slaves do it 24/7 as they watch and wait for Jesus’ Advent.

(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)

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