Matthew 24: 37-44
As were the days of Noah, 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 when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched 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 hour you do not expect.
We have NO idea! The day of the coming of the Lord is close at hand, yet we carry on with our lives. Especially during this holiday season, we are so busy that we can easily forget that Advent is not just about preparing for Christmas. It is also about preparing for the Second Coming. This Gospel leaves no doubt that we must prepare.
Am I ready? Let's go through the metaphorical rooms of our heart and see if things are as they should be. I hope you can follow my line of thinking, as I parallel our houses with our souls!
Is the entryway warm and inviting? If Christ enters today, will He trip over boots and backpacks? Will He find a tidy hall or perhaps a stone wall, keeping Him out? Maybe there is even a half-wall there, so you can see Him but He can't quite reach you.
Is my living space comfortable? Would Jesus feel at ease in my living room or family room, because He has visited there often? Are there images and sacramentals that ensure He has a place where the family gathers? Do my children know how to sit at His feet and hold two-way conversations with the Lord? Do I?
For all of us Marthas out there, do we have a stocked kitchen, ready for unexpected guests? Do we have warm drinks and sweet treats for our friends? Or are we panicking that we cannot offer them anything? Or worse, do we feel they would not want the humble snack we can offer? When is the last time I put my arm around a hurting friend, giving them warmth and comfort? Would I be able to offer the Lord something simple, yet elegant that showed Him I care?
And, is He staying for dinner? Is the dining room table always set with an extra spot? Do I have clean linens on the table or are they stained and tattered? Would I invite Him to eat with the family, regardless of how poor the children's manners? Would I remember that He loves them anyway? Or would I be embarrassed, beating myself up for not being Emily Post? Are there meat and potatoes ready to go, or can I only offer a few crusts of bread?
In what ways do I need to better prepare for Christ's coming at Christmas and beyond (assuming the Second Coming is not in the next three weeks!)? How can I take some time out from my hectic and busy December to clean things up inside, to make a place ready for Him?
A priest this weekend explained that BUSY is Being Under Satan's Yoke. Am I too busy? How can I best prioritize my lists to keep Satan at bay? What is Christ asking me to sacrifice this Advent to make ready for His coming?