CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 16 December 2017

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Waiting for his coming

To be alert and to keep watch are the key words of this passage. The evangelist invites all members of his communities to be vigilant in waiting for the coming of the Lord.
 
What does to be alert mean? Why such insistence on the night? Why does the master, instead of coming during the day, arrive suddenly when nobody expects him? Who is the doorkeeper? Who is the master? Where did he go? What powers has he left to his servants?
 
Take a deeper look into the parable. The master of the house is Jesus, but he has not gone away. After the resurrection, he is only closer to us than when he was walking the streets of Palestine.
 
It is also worth noting that the Lord warns that he comes at night like a thief, he comes when the world is shrouded in darkness: Why so much emphasis on the theme of the night?
 
The masters of Israel taught that in the history of the world, there were four great nights. The first at the time of creation: The sun and the moon did not exist and it was night when God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3).
 
There was a second night, one on which God made the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15). Then a third, the mother of all nights, the liberation of Israel from Egypt; it was “this is the watch for the Lord—all Israel are also to keep vigil on this night, year after year, for all time” (Exodus 12:42).
 
The fourth night is the one Israel awaits: God will intervene in it to create the new world and to begin his reign. When in the New Testament, the coming of the Lord during the night is spoken, it refers us to this fourth night.
 
This is our night; it is the time we live in, the time that is dark, the time in which the proposals of life that shake the major consensus are hedonistic, not the beatitudes of Jesus.
 
Mark reminds, not to doze off with fatigue even in the last of the darkness, before dawn. The one who is vigilant is ready to welcome the Lord in those who seek peace, dialogue, reconciliation and above all in the poor.
 
Darkness scares and at some point, it becomes so dense that even the Christian gifted with the sight of fine faith can lose sight of his Lord and be overcome by fatigue, boredom and despair.
 
There is a secret to keep ourselves awake: prayer, understood as a constant dialogue with the Lord. The one who does not pray dozes off. They will eventually end up resigned and will adapt, like everyone else, to the dark of the night that envelops the world (Mark 14:37-40).
 
The servants represent the disciples engaged in the execution of their Lord’s projects. To each is given a task, a mission to be carried out in accordance with his own capabilities.
 
The doorkeepers are those responsible for the proclamation of the word of God, celebrating the sacraments and for the support of the disciples who are wavering in their faith.
 
These doorkeepers have to be more vigilant than others and keep awake their weaker brothers and sisters, who are in danger of being deceived by the dominant mentality of this world.
 
Father Fernando Armellini SCJ
Claretian Publications
https://sundaycommentaries.wordpress.com/2017/11/22/1st-sunday-of-advent-year-b-december-3-2017/