1. How long is advent? The quick answer is 4 weeks.
2. How many days? This year it will be 22.
You do not know when the time will come. Be alert!
As I write this article two thoughts vie for my attention. Together they form The Great Advent Conundrum of 2017. (My thanks and apologies to the play about a comet with the similar name.)
The thought in bold is from the first line of today’s gospel. (Mark 13:33) You will probably find it familiar as we heard similar words from Matthew during the last Sundays of ordinary time.
The second is a riddle that is both informative and frightening. Christmas on a Monday creates the shortest advent possible.
So what do we do?
One source I read suggests letting go of busyness for the sake of being busy and focusing instead on the small yet important things. Here are just 4 ideas to consider today:
A New Church Year’s Resolution
1. Be open:
Take on a posture of prayer. Stand, kneel or sit tall. Uncross your arms. Allow the peace and joy of the Lord to show on your face.
2. Be attentive:
Open the hymnal and focus on the words of the readings, prayers and songs. It will help crowd out distractions.
3. Be changed:
Leave with a small but focused action plan. Take a card from the giving tree. Join the social concerns e-mail list. See the good deed that comes to mind as the call of the Holy Spirit. Act on that felling today.
4. Be prepared and tuned in
Follow the advice we give to students of all ages: “Do the reading and come on time.” Pick a day this week to find the readings for next Sunday. Take a look at the connection between the reading from the prophet Isaiah and Mark’s account of John the Baptist. Come to mass early next week. Be ready, open, attentive, and ready to be changed. Rinse and repeat. (Just kidding on the rinse.)
Anticipating great Christmas gifts in small Advent packages,