Sermons

Summary: It is wise to know what one does not know. Therefore, being constantly ready for your personal judgment before God is the message today.

First Sunday of Advent

According to the U.S. Navy, Watchfulness is a persevering attentiveness for the operations, maintenance, personnel and resources we are responsible for.

The word Watch as Advent begins is the key word, belonging to the Wisdom traditions that the acknowledgement of uncertainty is prized. It is wise to know what one does not know. Therefore, being constantly ready for your personal judgment before God is the message today.

Watchfulness and accountability.

After all, if we know that this really matters in life, we would be even more aware of God’s gifts and even more aware of his presence that is yet to come.

However, admittedly, not everyone does uncertainty well, and that is linked to psychiatric symptoms and disorders, including worry, anxiety, depression, and social phobia. A lot of stems from not being confident in one’s ability to make decisions when faced with ambitious life events; they doubt their ability.

Pope Francis offers a solution; he says that vigilance is a Christian attitude. Vigilance over one’s self: what is happening in my heart? The Eastern Fathers say that I must know well if my heart is in turmoil or if my heart is calm...then, what do it do? I try to understand what is happening, but always in peace—to understand in peace. If the peace is gone, we do an examination of conscience to figure out what happened to the peace. And this is keeping watch. Keeping watch is not a matter of entering a torture chamber, says Pope Francis. No, it’s rather watching one’s heart. We must be masters over our heart.

Being at peace with ourselves means that we have confidence from our examen and we find that we can be at peace with one another.

Another danger is spiritual sleep which is a form of sloth because it means to be constantly on the go but at the same time bored or indifferent with the most important things. Rushing around in what we call the “real world” can be a way of avoiding the most important reality of where we or our loved ones and others will spend eternity.

What made Moses fall from the delights of Egypt? He saw that the least things in religion were greater than the greatest things in the Egyptian court and culture. None will sleep when a thing is presented of excellence more than ordinary. Hebrews 11:26, says that Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ better than the greatest treasures of Egypt.”

As we begin Advent, please know that studies show that it is the pre-Christmas hustle and not Christmas Day itself causes short term decline in well-being. However, Christian religious affiliation moderates the way in which Christmas is experienced. Results indicate that religiously practicing Christians do not suffer from reduced life satisfaction in the time before Christmas. In this regard, religious Christians deviate from the general pattern in a remarkable way. It’s a protective factor more so for the more devout.

As people arise before dawn breaks to prepare for the day, so we are to awaken, showing the same eagerness for the salvation which is dawning. To live in the bright light of day, in our conduct, to walk in the light of the Lord.

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