First Sunday of Advent – Year B
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: Dec 3, 2017
When is the last time that you were silent? When is the last time you were in complete silence and still? Everyone now, close your eyes, be very still. Take a deep breath and let us take a moment now to be still in complete silence.
A beautiful image in our first reading from the prophet Isaiah. Image of God as a potter and we are like clay in the hands of the potter. God is working on us, wanting to form us into something truly beautiful. We need to allow God to work on us. A potter takes the clay and forms something new, sometimes has to start over again if there are cracks or deformities. God, the potter, keeps working on us even when we are broken. Allow God to create something beautiful.
In our Gospel Jesus says, Keep Awake. We are not to be fearful, anxious about God coming. Not to be afraid of making mistakes or failing. But, Jesus is calling us to be awake, to live now in this moment. God is at work on you right now, pay attention, what is God doing? Do not miss this because we are spiritually asleep.
One key to being awake is silence. If we are to be awake, to pay attention, we need to be still and be in silence.
Story: A man was lost in the desert. Wandering for a long time searching for any water and he was getting weaker and weaker. Finally, when he had given up and had no strength left, he tripped over a tiny stick and fell to the ground. There he had given up and was simply ready to die at that spot. He laid there completely still and in complete silence. In that utter silence he was able to hear the slightest trickle of water. This gave him the strength to get up and find a source of water nearby.
Our spiritual practices are not to make God happy with us. Our prayer, our sacraments, our spiritual reading, meditating, we do not do these so that we are good. We do these to keep awake. So, that we will be able to live in this moment, live this moment ready and awake to what God is doing in our midst.
One of the greatest spiritual struggles in our society is a lack of patience. One thing that I find most people confess, is a lack of patience. Well, we are entering the season of Advent. It is a season calling us to patience. So, that we will be awake to what God has done and is doing in us. But, this time before Christmas in our society is so busy, so full of distraction, noisy, focused on shopping. It is crucial that we find time to be still and to be silent.
God is working on your like a potter wanting to create something beautiful. Keep awake during Advent, do not miss what God is wanting to form in you.
Find time to be still, find time to be silent.