ďStay awakeĒ is an alarm sounding on the first Sunday of advent. It means many different things, the most important of which is to seize the opportunities of the present moment, prepare for Christmas, prepare for death, yes, surely. But also, and more important, prepare for the kingdom of God whenever it explodes into your life.
In Jesusís view of the kingdom, it is always near, ready to break through the barriers of every day and seize us, impel us, embrace us, challenge us Ė and especially in Jesusís view of things the kingdom appears with Godís sweeping love in ordinary daily events: a confused child, a sick friend, a discouraged spouse, a troublesome person on the phone, a demand that seems unfair but where we can do much good with little effort. These are the places to look for Godís loving power.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time there was a teenage girl named Belinda. She was somewhat interested in a boy named Randolph, a nice boy, a smart boy, a respectful boy, a good Catholic and a good dancer too. You know how many teenage boys are good dancers. Randolph paid no attention to Belinda, but she didnít care because she wasnít really sure that she liked him.
Then Randolph began to call her on the phone every night for a whole week. Why donít you call that nice boy back her mother would say, heís so polite and so respectful. Heís a creep, Belinda insisted. Heís BORING! I hear heís a good dancer and very sweet, her mother said.. BORING, argued Belinda. Of course she had every intention of calling him back, but she didnít want to appear too eager because, after all, he hadnít paid any attention to her for months. Well, finally on Saturday afternoon, she called him back and he wasnít in.
She called him on Sunday afternoon and he still wasnít in. Furious, she called him Sunday night. I hear you have been calling me on the phone, Randolph, she said in a snippy tone of voice. Iím sorry you didnít call before, Belinda, he said sadly, I was gonna invite you to the Christmas dance. But I figured you didnít want to go so I asked someone else. Iím a total space cadet, Belinda admitted. Maybe some other time, Randolph replied. You never know when Mr. Right is going to call with an invitation to a Christmas dance.
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-19
2 Stir up your might, and come to save us!
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Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
In Memory of Father Andrew M. Greeley
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