Jesus warns men to be watchful in the Parable of Watchful Slaves. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit so he can enter more deeply into the liturgy of the Church to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ and by cultivating the Virtue of Diligence so he can vigilantly battle to live a more orderly and holy life and be ready to meet Jesus Christ at any time. 

Liturgy

1st Week of Advent – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 13:33-37

Commentary

After mysteriously predicting His Passion and Resurrection, Jesus comforts His men with the promise of His Second Coming, when He will come again in great power and glory in the clouds. The days building up to His Second Coming will be stressful, particularly for unbelievers: there will be cosmic events in the skies and the entire world will be shaken and in chaos, leaving those without faith with nowhere to turn. 

Using a parable to describe His return, Jesus (the man, the Master) has ascended to Heaven (went on a journey) and left men (inaccurately translated as “servants”; the Greek word used is “slave”) to vigilantly watch (throughout the night) over the Church (home), giving each man specific responsibilities (work, watch).  Jesus warns men should always be prepared for His unexpected return (not asleep). 

With a special emphasis to reach the hearts of men, Jesus’ call for men to “watch” draws upon the natural instinct God has created in men to be protectors in families and societies, and men are predominately responsible on the front lines of defense; ancient cities were guarded against attack by well-trained fighting men who stood “watch” on the city walls, and men remain the primary protectors of society today. Jesus’ vehement call (to heed) for men to be constantly on guard urges men to take extraordinary actions to be continually on guard (not sleeping and keeping an all-night vigil). Jesus’ reference to Himself as the “Master” and His men as “slaves”, confirms Jesus has high expectations for men to be His humble, subservient servants, who carry out His commands.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Today begins the start of the Liturgical year with the first Sunday of Advent. While joyfully anticipating the birth of Jesus at Christmas, the Holy Catholic Church begins with Jesus’ somber Warning to be continually watchful: Son of God, Jesus gives men the correct mindset of being a slave who serves his Master; Divine Prophet, Jesus reveals, in mysterious terms, His Second Coming, and alludes to His inescapable Judgment of men; Divine King, and the perfection of Diligence,  Jesus uses strong language to Command His men to diligently, “take heed, watch and pray.”

Prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ

Realize: Advent (meaning, “coming, approach, arrival of Christ”) is the 4-week liturgical season before Christmas which is a period of devout and joyful expectation of Jesus’ Second Coming, but also a time for every Catholic man to beg Jesus to come into his daily life so he can grow in holiness and prepare for eternal life. 

Believe: Reflect upon The Preparations for Christ’s Coming (CCC 522-524).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Piety so You fill me with a great reverence for Advent, I joyously engage in the many prayers and rituals of the Advent season, and I am draw ever closer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every day.

Grow in Holy Vigilance

Realize: Just as Adam was created and prepared by God with the innate ability and desire to protect Eve and to vigilantly watch over creation, all men are created by God with the special capacity to be watchful; men are “systematizers” who anticipate, observe, protect and defend, all key categories of being “watchful.” 

Believe: Reflect upon Vigilance (CCC 2088, 2621, 2730, 2733, 2849).

Pray: Jesus, Divine King, help me build the Virtue of Diligence (a part of Temperance) so I can vigilantly live a more holy and orderly life, I prepare and lead my family in the faith, and I strive to become spiritually ready to meet You at any time.