You Do Not Know On What Day Your Lord Is Coming | iPray with the Gospel (The First Sunday of Advent)
“As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man… Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”
Advent starts with the invitation of Our Lord to be alert, to “watch at all times”. We don’t know when He will come. We don’t know which day will be our last. But for those who are ready it doesn’t matter when that day comes. Have you ever been so well prepared for an exam that you didn’t mind when it was going to take place? You knew the subject so well that you had no worries at all. The same happens with the saints and their encounter with God at the end of their lives.
Saints lived their lives in the presence of God. That means they tried to never forget that God was there, present in their lives. Therefore they didn’t try to be holy only when someone was watching, but ‘all the time’. We should remember this: Saints are made when no one is watching. Saints try to be holy ‘all the time’.
Cardinal Mermillod of Geneva was known for his love for the Eucharist. Many people converted just by listening to his preaching. He used to spend long hours at night in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. One night he prostrated himself, as usual, before the Tabernacle. After a while he heard a noise. To his great surprise, the door of the confessional opened and a lady walked out. The astonished Bishop asked: “What are you doing here at this hour, Madam?” “Your Excellency,” replied the woman, a little breathless, “I am not a Catholic. I have been listening to your preaching over the last few months. I heard what you said about the real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament. I was convinced by your arguments but one doubt remained in my mind, and that is ‘if you really believe what you preach’. So I hid myself in the Church to see if you walked the talk.” The woman converted because the priest was holy always, even when no one was watching. Mary, Mother of Grace, help me this Advent to behave always as your good child and God’s.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).