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1st Sunday of Advent – Stay Wake!

December 1, 2013

The following reflection was written by Frank Landowski, a freshman in the Student Leaders and Minsiters program. Thank you, Frank, for exploring this scripture in such an intimate way and allowing us to share in the journey.

Mt 24:37-44

In today’s gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ says, “Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” Reflecting on this now, I realized that this powerful statement had a strong impact on me almost ten years ago.

When I was nine years old, my father passed away unexpectedly. One Sunday morning, he woke up with terrible pains in his leg, pains that wouldn’t go away. So my mother took him to our doctor, who after checking to see what was wrong with my father, immediately told my parents to go to the emergency room. For one long week, my father suffered a disease called rhabdomyolysis, where his skeletal muscles were breaking down rapidly. However, during this week, the Lord has provided for him, giving him the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist, and the Anointing of the Sick. A day before he passed, the doctors said that he was doing much better and that he might come home. I remember praying the rosary daily for him that whole week, but then the next day he passed away. I did not expect him to die so soon; he was only 37. Over the next week, I became so much closer with my family. In what way does your religious tradition deal with suffering such as this?

It’s true that we do not know when the Lord will call us into his kingdom. Some of us, like my father, will be truly blessed to be able to die receiving all the last Sacraments, and being in communion with God and their families. This scripture helps me live today by keeping me on guard. It gives me the consolation that one day I will be united with my father in heaven. I’d like to offer a prayer for all of those who will be called into the kingdom of heaven soon, so that our Lord may give them the grace of communion with God and family.

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