Roland Steele: Are you ready for this, champ?
Rudy Ruettiger: I've been ready for this my whole life.
Advent begins this week. The theme of today's readings is preparation and watchfulness. Paul (Romans 13: 11-14) advises "You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep."
Jesus (Matthew 24: 37-44) recounts the story of Noah, observing that people ignored the warning signs and partied right up until the day that the floods came and swept them away. Noah, on the other hand, heeded the warnings and entered the ark. "Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming."
Stark words that resonate. So often we focus on what is in front of us that we ignore winds of change blowing around us. When the change hits, we are not prepared.
God obviously does not want us to develop such complacency. Jesus warns, "Understand this: If the owner of a house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour."
The challenge this advent season is to be alert. To be ready.