On a weekend of national celebration, the church begins a new liturgical year. As we are still in the midst of giving thanks for life, family and friends, the Gospel for this Sunday calls us to look for signs that portend meaning. The call is to be alert, to be actively conscious.
Perhaps this is a meaningful juxtaposition of observances. Maybe there is an alchemy of a spiritual process. When we make an active effort to be thankful, that is to recognize our good fortune instead of being focused on what we don’t have, we become ready for the next step.
It seems that hearts opened in thanksgiving, are ready to hear the Advent lesson of being awake and alert. In the “Little Apocalypse” of Mark 13, Jesus calls his followers to look for signs and to remain alive to the spiritual movements and events that are always afoot.
Where some people are satisfied with routines and life lived on the surface, the disciple is one who has a perceptive imagination. The disciple is one who has a fine-tuned eye that sees connections of meaning emerging at all times.
This weekend we have been called to a feast that celebrates thankfulness. Those called by Christ are then called to turn that open heart into an active awareness of the spiritual reality that is always in and around us. We are in fact designed to be fully conscious, meaning making, active agents of grace in this multi-dimensional world in which we live. For those who choose faith, life becomes deeper and richer as it becomes more and more engaged.