By Pamela Patnode
“Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that . . .
the day of the Lord will come like a thief.” ~ 2 Peter 3:8, 10
Many years ago, our beloved pastor, Fr. Arnold Weber, OSB, gave names to the four Sundays of Advent. Although he used these names in a homily more than twenty years ago, they were memorable and have remained with me.
The names he gave coincided with the readings for each week.
The Sundays of Advent
He called the first Sunday of Advent “Wake Up Sunday,” reminding us to be alert.
The second Sunday of Advent, he called “Shape Up Sunday,” encouraging us to repent and conduct ourselves with holiness.
The third Sunday of Advent was “Cheer Up Sunday,” as we rejoice in the Lord, always.
He named the fourth Sunday of Advent “Hurry Up Sunday,” as we anticipate the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.
Reflect, Renew, Repent
Advent is a time to reflect, repent, and renew our commitment to the Lord. As I reflect upon 2023, I now feel a sense of urgency to repent and renew my commitment to conduct myself with holiness. By February of 2023, I had learned that six people who I am very close to had been diagnosed with cancer. My husband was one of those six. The Rule of St. Benedict reminds the faithful to “keep death always before your eyes.” This is not a morbid admonition. Rather, it is a reminder that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, and we need to be prepared.
As we rush from shopping malls to online checkouts to grocery stores in preparation for holiday festivities, may we also take time to prepare our hearts. We do not know the day or the hour when we will be called to our eternal home. May we repent, strive to love God and our neighbor more, and prepare with joyful anticipation for the day when kindness and truth meet, when justice and peace kiss, and when our Lord and Savior welcomes us home.
Lord, I love you. Help me to love you more.
Call to Action
Add a commitment to daily prayer to your Advent routine and New Year’s resolution. And be sure to get to confession this Advent season.
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