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Be ready to welcome Jesus when he comes

Based on Is 63: 16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:33-37

Watch. Wait. Be ready. Jesus is coming.

The word advent means coming. This Sunday the church helps us begin waiting and getting ready for Christmas – the Advent season. Over the next four weeks, we will prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas and to think about his second coming at the end of time.

When your family is expecting a visitor, what do you do to get ready? Do you give the house an extra cleaning?

Do you get a room ready for the visitor? Does Mom plan special meals?

The preparations are easy if you know when to expect the visitor. But isn’t it hard to have everything ready when you don’t know exactly when the visitor is coming?

We know Jesus will come at the end of time, but only God knows exactly when that will be. What Jesus is telling us today is we must always be ready. Just as we prepare our homes and get them in order for a visitor, so, too, we can prepare our hearts and get our lives in order for Jesus.

When Jesus came into the world the first time, he shared love, peace and forgiveness with everyone. If we try to live each day the way Jesus taught us – loving God and neighbor – we will be ready to welcome Jesus when he comes again.

Use the watching and waiting time of Advent to get ready for Jesus’ coming:

■ Read about Jesus in the Bible.
■ Give some canned food to your church’s food pantry for the needy.
■ Take care of and spend play time with a younger brother or sister.
■ Help Mom and Dad get your home ready for Christmas and family celebrations.
■ Make Christmas cards for Grandma and Grandpa.
■ Get your heart ready for Jesus with the sacrament of reconciliation by going to confession.

If we try each day to share Jesus’ love with everyone we meet by our smiles, our small acts of kindness and our prayers for them, we will be ready to really celebrate the joy of Christmas now, and the joy of seeing Jesus at the end of time when he welcomes us into heaven. Our reward will be love, life and happiness with God in heaven forever.