Today in the Catholic Church is the first Sunday of Advent, which is also the beginning of the liturgical year.  Advent means basically the two comings of Jesus, his birth and when he comes again at the end of time. Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 24: 37 – 44 where Jesus tells us how we must be ready for the second coming, the end of the world.

He relates how in Noah’s time no one knew the end was coming, they danced and laughed and sinned without a care in the world, and the next thing they knew, it was all over, they were washed away in the flood. Like those in Noah’s time, we also will not know when this will happen and Jesus warns us to be ready. He uses the example of a person who knows a burglar is coming but doesn’t stay awake to be ready.

How do you look at this passage? Do you take this to mean you need to live as much as you can to get as much done in your life as you can before the end? Do you think it means it is time to party and enjoy yourself? Or do you take it to mean, just be ready to go by making peace with the Lord? Wouldn’t this be a good time to simplify your life as Jesus suggests we do, when he asks us to give up all our possessions to follow him? How about when he tells us not to store up our treasures in barns like the wealthy farmer did? (Luke 12:16)

Although many have tried to predict the end of time, we don’t know the “time or the hour.” We should be prepared at all times to be called before God.

For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.

Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. – Mt 24: 37 – 44

Be ready for the unexpected. Be like Noah and start walking up the ramp to the ark.

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