Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Reflection for Nov. 27, 2011

by Sister Madonna Swintkoske

In the Gospel for the first Sunday of Advent Jesus says, "Be watchful!  Be alert," " on the watch," "Watch, therefore..."  "…I say to all:  Watch!"

What are the expectations that Jesus has for us when he tells us to watch?  We all know the expectations our mothers had when they said, "Watch the kettle on the stove!" or "Watch when you cross the street."  At this time of the year the deer hunters take their position in their deer stands to wait and watch.

As we begin this Advent season we are to watch.  In order to watch we need to be focused.  Just as we focused on the kettle so the water would not boil over or the deer hunter waits and keeps alert to anything approaching his way, we need to be focused and ready.

What needs to be our focus?  Jesus!  When we are focused on Jesus our concerns are kept in perspective.  Watching is not a passive "wait and see" approach of life.  When we are focused, we carry out the words of Jesus.  We are urged to vigilance and to active prayer that God's "kingdom may come."  We are to be fixed on Jesus and his word.  Do we watch for the Lord's action in our life with expectant faith and with joyful hope?

Thanks, S. Madonna! Your reflection gave me a practical example of what it means to stay focused on Jesus!

Thanks, Madonna, for your simple and clear directive for these weeks of Advent and beyond....keep focused on Jesus.


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