The Watchman at the Gate (Mk 13:33-37)
O Lord, let me be ready to welcome you.
Picture Jesus teaching his disciples in the temple area.
With these words, Jesus concludes a long speech that spoke of Jerusalem’s destruction, persecutions and the end of the world. His final advice uses the image of a gatekeeper who must always be ready for the master to return, (a fitting gospel to begin the Advent season).
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus said to his disciples, “Be constantly on watch! Stay awake! For you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man who leaves his house for a far country and places his servants in charge. Each has his own task and he tells the man at the gate to watch.
Be aware. You do not know the hour when the master of the house will return, whether at twilight, or midnight or at the cock’s crow or at dawn. Do not let him come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all, Watch.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The master returning at an unknown hour was common in Palestine.
- The master gives each servant a job.
- Jesus specifically mentions the gatekeeper. He can never complete his task and must always be watching.
- His task is the most difficult because the master has no scheduled hour for a return.
- The parable lists four times for his return. All are inconvenient.
- Being constantly on watch is the basic duty of a disciple. This parable sharpens that command.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, I am so caught up in earthly concerns that I forget to think of you.
- You come at any time, and expect me to be watching.
- You have given me a task in the Kingdom. How lucky I am.
- You station me at the gate and tell me to await you, the King of Kings.
- You do not tell me when you are coming, but I love you so much that it does not matter.
- Whenever you come, I will be watching. This is what you told me to do.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ During advent, I will give more time to prayer.
+ I will be attentive to Jesus’ inspirations.
Thought For The Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Be constantly on watch! Stay awake!