Advent is a time of warning, a time of preparation, a time of urgency. It is supposed to prepare for Christmas, but the Christmas of every day life as much if not more than the festival of December 25. While the apocalyptic rhetoric of today's Gospel might not be the exact words of Jesus and while in any case that rhetoric was not meant to be taken literally, the urgency of the message is surely his. We must not slip into the routine of ordinary life and miss the opportunity of life itself.
Time and with it life slips through our fingers. Tomorrow never comes but ends up yesterday until there are few tomorrows left in our life and all too many yesterdays. It looked like forever and it was only a very short time, so little time. And so much waste, so many lost opportunities. Advent is a time of recalling opportunities lost in the past and taking steps to miss fewer opportunities in the days and weeks and years ahead, such as these may be.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time there were two eighth grade girls, Lois and Ella Mae, who were both sensational volley ball players. Lois was the captain of the team and the best player on the team. Ella Mae was co-captain and the second best player on the team. They were also “best friends” and were together all the time even when they weren’t playing volleyball. Ella Mae didn’t mind being second best and Lois didn’t think being best was all that big a deal.
There was one difference between them, however, and I bet you know what it is. I wouldn’t want to say that Lois was lazy exactly, but she was just a big deficient in the work ethic area, know what I mean? Ella Mae on the other hand was almost compulsively committed to practice. Hardest working player in the whole school, including the boy athletes. Lois used to tell herself – and everyone else who would listen to her – that Ella Mae had to work hard because she didn’t quite have all the talent at a co-captain ought to have. WELL, the team wom their section and their division, and their region. They were really good, Lois was the best spiker in the city and Ella Mae never gave up on what looked like a lost point.
Finally they came to the city championship against their traditional rivals, St. Adelbert. Ella Mae wanted to practice every day the week before. Lois said two days was enough. After all, there was more to being in eighth grade than volleyball. You know what happened? Sure you do. They lost to St A by one point because they were just a little bit out of condition. Don’t cry, Ellie, Lois said to her friend in the local ice cream store where they were eating pink pistachio peppermint ice cream. We’ll have lots of championship games in high school. BUT, Ella Mae sobbed, we’ll never have an eighth grade championship game again.
1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the
house of the LORD!"
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