A consistent theme of these weeks leading to Advent is akin to the motto of the U.S. Coast Guard: Semper paratus: “Always ready.” For what? The military remains ready for threats or disasters like a tornado or flood, but Jesus’ call to be ready always is neither a threat nor a prediction of catastrophe. It is his expectation that we be aware of the presence of the sacred as we move through even the most ordinary day. Mary Oliver suggests the same in her poem “The Summer Day”: “I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. / I do know how to pay attention.” Being prepared for the coming of Christ means keeping eyes and ears, hearts and minds open. The sacred, the Christ, is all around you.
“Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Prepare the Word