Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 1st Sunday of Advent

You the Door Keepers 

The second wave of COVID in Melbourne brought a heightened sense of insecurity not just amongst the Victorians, but the whole country felt uneasy about it.  Many who scrutinised the cause for the second wave there blamed the ‘door keepers’, the hired security at the quarantine hotels, for the hike in the infection.  In spite of the best medical practice, strict quarantine measures and comfortable accommodation for the people quarantined, all seemed to fail, and the blame came to otherwise insignificant ‘door keepers’.  Therefore, do not underestimate the ‘door keepers’.  Your future may be depended on them.

Mark’s Gospel speaks of another kind of door keepers.  This is what Jesus said to those ‘door keepers’:  ‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake.  So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. (Ref Mark 13:33-36).  In this allegorical little story, the man gone to return is Christ and the door keepers are his disciples. Therefore, this call to be watchful and good door keepers is a message for all who are Disciples of Christ.

The office parties, house gatherings, home illuminations, decorations in the churches and shopping centres are all anticipating a big feast, Christmas.  Unlike the popular understanding, Christmas is not about celebrating the birth anniversary of Jesus in Bethlehem.  It is about God coming again.  The disciples of Jesus are in anticipation of God, who took flesh, to break into their flesh.  The return of God into your lives could be a surprise for you because the how and when of it is beyond human grasp.  But it will happen.  Then the question is whether you are keeping yourself awake with charity, sacraments, prayer, and the Scripture, ready to greet God into your life when he returns?  Are you clean of sin and self-gratification in preparation for God’s coming?  Bethlehem (means the house of bread) for you is the Eucharistic Bread in your Parish Church.  Be ‘door keepers’ at your ‘House of Bread’, ready and prepared to welcome God into your flesh, into your life.