by Fr. Mike Ratajczak, November 28, 2004

“Stay Awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming.”

With these words taken from the Gospel of Matthew, we begin our new Liturgical Year with the Season of Advent. Advent is a time of preparation for the Season of Christmas.

As we make ourselves ready to celebrate the First Coming of the Christ in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, we are mindful that we are a people waiting for His Second Coming, for His return, when all things will be brought to completion.

So as we begin this Season of Advent, we are challenged to look at our lives in the present moment and ask ourselves –

  • “How well am I living this life as I wait for the Lord’s return?”
  • “How am I keeping myself busy in day to day living?”
  • “Am I mindful that I am a pilgrim on a journey?”
  • “Do I realize that my life is short and that one day there will be an accounting of my life before the Lord?”
  • “Is the Lord Jesus a central focus in my life?”
  • “Am I nurturing that relationship?”
  • “Am I living with hope?”
  • “Am I waiting joyfully for the Lord’s return?”

All of these questions lead us, once again, on the path of stewardship, a way of life that reflects a belief in a God who has made Himself known to us in a very special way in and through His Son, Jesus.

The gifts of time, talent, and treasure become the external signs of an internal reality! Within this Faith Community of St. Thomas More, all of us have the opportunity to utilize the gifts that God has given us to build up the Body of Christ and to live and celebrate with a sense of great gratitude for all that God has done and continues to do for us.

I encourage you as we begin this new Church Year to make a new year’s resolution – to commit yourself to this way of life of stewardship and to take your gifts of time, talent, and treasure and make them the external signs of that internal relationship with Jesus the Christ that you nurture on a daily basis.

May this Season of Advent be a time of sober reflection upon the realities of life – its shortness, its fragility, its preciousness. With these thoughts in mind, make the effort to celebrate and live each day with Faith, Hope, and Love!