Staying Awake 2012

Scripture readings for today's Mass are here

Gospel Matthew 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

Be sure of this:
if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.

So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,

whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?

Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.

But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is long delayed,'
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant's master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

Click here for a repost of my reflection on the gospel from a couple of years ago.

One of my favourites, Benedictine monk Fr. Laurence Freeman also has a fine reflection on the Gospel phrase "Stay Awake", traditionally used as the reading at the beginning of Advent from here.

He explains how in the Christian tradition, meditation is a form of prayer which can  can help keep us awake.

He says : "Meditation – morning and evening – is the best antidote known to humanity to keep us awake, clear-minded about the illusions that lure us and the fears that control us. And to keep us attuned to the beauty and freshness of reality as each day invites us to be more awake, more real. 

We know when we are awake because we maintain the same calm spirit of attention between all changing activities and sensations."

Today is also the feast of St Fiacre who may not be well known to many people and tomorrow is the feast of St Aidan.

My post on these two saints are here-  you need to scroll down the page.

Also this morning's post  from John Predmore S.J. has this lovely poem by Denise Levertov, titled Primary Wonder ....

Days pass when I forget the mystery.
Problems insoluble and problems offering
their own ignored solutions
jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber
along with a host of diversions, my courtiers,
their colored clothes; caps and bells.

And then
once more the quiet mystery
is present to me, the throng’s clamor
recedes: the mystery
that there is anything, anything at tall,
let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,
rather than void: and that, O Lord,
Creator, Hallowed One, You still,
                                                                                                     hour by hour sustain it.

In turn, it leads me to recall another phrase from Ephesians ...

"Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light." 

and this prayer of Fr John Main..

"Heavenly Father, open our hearts to the silent presence of the Spirit of your Son.

Lead us into that mysterious silence where your love is revealed to all who call,

'Maranatha…Come, Lord Jesus'."

Prayer of The World Community for Christian Meditation (adapted.)

"May our communities be a true spiritual home for the seeker, a friend for the lonely, a guide for the confused.

May those who pray here be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to serve all who come, and to receive them as Christ Himself.

In the silence of our hearts may all the suffering, violence, and confusion of the world encounter the Power that will console, renew and uplift the human spirit.
May this silence be a power to open the hearts of men and women to the vision of God, and so to each other, in love and peace, justice and human dignity.
May the beauty of the divine life, fill this community and the hearts of all who pray here, with joyful hope.
May all who come here weighed down by the problems of humanity leave giving thanks for the wonder of human life.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. 

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