Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
1 Cor 1:3-9
Mk 13:33-37

I read the readings for the first Sunday of Advent just after finishing a 15 hour shift at the hospital. My mind was swimming with the stories of people of all ages and with varying degrees of wellness. At the same time that I was working on digesting the readings with their invitation into Advent, my own mental fatigue began to take over.

This fatigue made me laugh as I thought about the gospel invitation of Mark to be awake for the coming of the Lord. I think it is very easy for me to allow mental fatigue to close my eyes and my heart to all kinds of God moments and/or appearances. It is easy to look at all the issues that impact my ability or choice to be present and compassionate. Some of the issues that make me tired are lack of available health care, aspects of poverty especially as it impacts the young and the elderly, and apathy that steal the hope of those who are in their twenties and thirties.

I don’t have easy answers to these challenging issues. However, in the letter from Paul to the Corinthians he reminds me that I have every spiritual gift needed to address that which is put before me. These Sunday readings say to me, “MC, you are but a vessel of the potter. I will put My Spirit into your vessel. Don’t miss being awake to this! Listen up! You don’t have to do alone. However, let that Spirit move in and through you each moment, so that you can be awake!”

It is with the deep hope of being awake that I enter this Advent season. Awake to God’s grace, and God’s love. I hope to be awake to the Spirit’s movement in and through me as I am molded to be a vessel of love creating new life in those very issues that have in the past invited me to sleep.

Come oh come, Emmanuel!