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Live in the Now and Beyond

First Reading: Revelation 22:1-7

John said:
An angel showed me the river of life-giving water,
sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God
and of the Lamb down the middle of the street,
On either side of the river grew the tree of life
that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month;
the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Nothing accursed will be found anymore.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun,
for the Lord God shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever and ever.

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true,
and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits,
sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”
“Behold, I am coming soon.”
Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

R. (1 Cor 16: 22b, see Rev. 22: 20c) Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great king above all gods;
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
and the tops of the mountains are his.
His is the sea, for he has made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Gospel: Luke 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

NAB

nov26

I am woefully terrible at keeping resolutions. Each year I come up with a list a mile long of how I plan to eat healthier, read more books, keep my house cleaner, be a better wife and mother, and so forth. The ideal me waits at the completion of the list. I excel at coming up with ways I need to improve, but I lack in the willpower to persevere.

You may wonder why I’m talking about the New Year when we’re only in the end of November, but today happens to be the New Year’s Eve of the Christian year. Tomorrow we begin the Advent season, a time of preparation for the birth of our Savior. Thus, today is the perfect day to reflect on how we hope to spiritually grow in the New Year and what practical steps we can and will take in that direction. The Church in her wisdom offers us a chance to start afresh with a new Liturgical year.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from . . . the anxieties of daily life . . . Be vigilant at all times.” The reference here is to the end of our life, and even though we cannot pinpoint that moment, it’s important to remember it could be at any time. We are to live in the now, but also in the hope of what is to come.

As we ready ourselves to enter into this season of preparation time for the arrival of our King, let’s practice being vigilant daily. Advent offers us a time of grace amidst life’s challenges. Receive the gift of grace, pray for strength, and let’s arm ourselves as we prepare for our eternal state.

Write your own spiritual New Year’s resolutions. What are ways you can more fully walk in your vocation serving God in the everyday? How can your prayer life grow?

Sarah Ortiz is a Catholic convert, and when not folding laundry, she can be found reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or writing at her blog. You can find out more about her here.

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