1st Advent, 2012 , Stay Alert

Stay alert!  1st Advent, Year C.

The Denhams hadn’t slept in days. The Black family had moved into a mostly all white neighborhood in Boston’s Dorchester section. Local hoodlums, some I probably knew, put rocks through their windows and sped by yelling racial epithets at the family as they huddled inside.

A group of us decided to offer a neighborhood watch. We would cover the house while the Denham’s slept and take down license plate numbers and see if we could make any identification of those who were intent on intimidating the family. Those nights while the Denham’s slept were long and watchful. A few cars left rubber in front of the house, but there was no more harassment or violence. It became clear to us that the police, the local Roman Catholic Parish, and community leaders had sent out a warning to any who thought to escalate the violence.

After three nights we went home to our own beds and slept.

Life will keep us alert sometimes more than we want. When a loved one is sick, or a relationship needs attention, or a child is born, close attention will be required.

Yet, maybe Jesus doesn’t mean that we should be hyper- vigilant all the time. Otherwise we’d get no sleep. Maybe he’s reminding us that the holy is always trying to break through. God uses many ways to break through the clutter of our minds; sometimes a fig tree, sometimes a dandelion growing through a the crack in the concrete, even as we sleep.

The holy offers her gifts to us in abundance and delivers them free of charge. Only we have to sign for them.


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