Enjoy Life Today

Sunday of Week 1 in Advent

Mark 13:33-37

People often consider the question, “Is there life after death?” But there is another equally valid question, “Is there life before death? This I think is the emphasis of today’s Gospel. A man was taking a long journey. Before he left He assigned each servant a job and told them to stay awake for they did not know when he would return. Not only are these words a warning of the final judgement - but they are also an admonition to wake up and live the present moment.

Jesus constantly emphasised the importance of living. When He spoke of the purpose of His mission on Earth, He spoke in terms of life. “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” In fact, Jesus even called Himself “Life” when He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

There are people who ignore Christ because they think He prevents life from being fulfilling and exciting. How wrong they are! One of the first four Apostles, John, wrote, “He who has the Son has life, but he that has not the Son has not life.” His was an ordinary life until Jesus called fishermen to follow Him. Before they were trying to catch fish for a living, but now they were attempting to catch people for God. How much more worthwhile was that!

The purpose of Jesus’ parable in the Gospel is, “Don’t let the good life pass you by.” So many people never get round to living. This happens because they keep postponing things. Too much time is wasted in idle chatter, too many hours spent in watching TV. Despite the good intentions to get things done life slips through their fingers. That is why Jesus says, “Stay awake.” Do the tasks you have to do today and use the remaining time to experience life. Visit Rome, pray at Our Lady’s grotto in Lourdes, write poetry, learn to play that musical instrument you bought years ago, learn to crochet, you will find it very relaxing, read the book given to you last Christmas, make peace with someone who has upset you, volunteer for charity work, visit the old person next door…you never know when time will run out.

It is too easy to be always preparing for life – but never getting round to living it. The school child is preparing for university. The university student is preparing for a career. The career person is preparing for promotion and, eventually, for retirement. And then the years have gone and the children have left home – but how do they remember you as parents?

We should be preparing to get the most out of life today. There is no reason to believe that tomorrow will be any more real than today. Let us enjoy the happiness and fulfilment of today, because if we don’t, it will probably not be waiting for us when we get to the end of the road.

Lord Jesus help me to make the most of life by having a close relationship with You in the Holy Eucharist. When I come to You let me be reminded of Your words, “I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance.” And let me not be concerning myself today with Christmas when it is only the beginning of Advent.