Advent 2023

Welcome to the season of Advent and the start of a new church year.

Mark 13:33-37 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” [Jesus said:] “Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.  It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.  Therefore, keep awake— for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.  And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”


  1. The coming of the master is not just the moment of death, but any moment of grace. Recall unexpected graces — good things that happened when they were not anticipated.
  2. Recall times when you were particularly alert and aware of what was going on in you and around you and the contrast with moments when such alertness and awareness were not present.
  3. The servants were given charge of the household “each with their own job.” Identify with the servants as people given a responsibility within the household of God’s people. What has it been like for you when you have been shown trust in this way by another person? What is it like for you to see yourself trusted in this way by God?
  4. Your experience of good “doorkeepers,” people who were there and ready to receive you even when you came at an awkward or unexpected time. Also your experience of being a good “doorkeeper’” for another.
  5. Jesus says that what he is saying to his disciples he is saying to all. Have there been times when you have been a messenger of hope to others, encouraging them to wait for a moment of grace. Who have been the ones to encourage you.

Beginning again is an invitation to look in two directions. What happened for me in the last year, both in my ordinary life and in my life as a believer, a person of faith? For what do I ask forgiveness? For what do I give thanks? We also look forward and the new beginning gives us a chance to start again on the Way of discipleship. Both thanksgiving and renewal are to be found in today’s readings. The Gospel is an invitation to wake up, to keep watch, to live fully the present moment under God, in whom we live and move and have our being. Amen.