“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
In the Holy Mass we participate in doing something extraordinary. When Jesus left us the gift of His body and blood and said, do this in memory of Me He gave us an explicit command to do what He had done that night.
Each of us has a special role in carrying out the Eucharist. Our gifts and sacrifice in the form of the bread and wine we offer is changed into Jesus’ body and blood by what the priest does during the Eucharistic prayer. Jesus’ role as servant is exemplified in the work of the deacon who serves at the altar. Each of our roles is essential. Jesus didn’t do any of what He did alone, but in the midst of community.
Jesus didn’t want us to just remember what He had done. Memory is fleeting and can fade with time. Rather, in asking us to carry out the same action as a family, to live the roles He exemplified, we are part of Jesus’ yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
In the Eucharistic moment we are at once transformed and present with Jesus at His birth and in His ministry. We are there at the Last Supper, at the foot of the Cross, His burial, His resurrection, His Ascension, and at His return.
How amazing it is that we are there with Him, that we can be so very close to Him.
We might think that this is enough. Certainly Jesus’ coming was that moment in time where our redemption occurred. We, who have accepted Jesus into our lives, have received His assurance of salvation. We have been justified. Yes, but greater things are yet to come.
This Advent, this day, is the moment we must be awake and ready for that greater thing. Those greater things are the miracles we bring to the lives of others by our ministry and by the proclamation of Jesus’ word. Faith and salvation will come to them through us as St. Paul tells us: [by] what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.
The greatest thing yet to come, our greatest hope, is that day of Jesus’ return in glory. We cannot know, or even predict when that day will be, but it will come. We are already part of that always and this season of preparation is our moment to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.