You Snooze, You Lose

Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, First Sunday of Advent
Is 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7 
PS 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19 
1 Cor 1:3-9 
Mk 13:33-37

By Marc Massery

When you wake up in the morning to the sound of your alarm, do you hit the snooze button over and over again? If you're someone who hits the snooze button, chances are you also hit "snooze" when it comes to other challenges in your life. 

As fallen human beings, many of us struggle confronting our problems. There are things we ought to do, but because of our weak wills and easily distracted minds, we fail to follow through. Holiness is all about allowing God’s grace to transform us, to help us overcome our natural shortcomings and live virtuous lives. That's not to say every time you hit the snooze button, or every time you delay in addressing a problem, you're sinning. But there is a danger in avoiding responsibility and wasting time.

After all, the Lord calls us to vigilance — to being alert to whatever is going on around us, to whatever Christ is asking of us. In the Gospel this Sunday, Jesus says:

Be watchful! Be alert! … you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’ (Mk 13: 33, 35-37)

Sometimes, going about our daily lives, we forget that we’re only here temporarily. As a result, we have the tendency to act as though we have all the time in the world to achieve our goals or amend our lives. The truth is, we don’t know what may happen tomorrow. Your life could come to an end. All of ours could. This isn’t a reason to live in fear. This is a reason to live each day to the fullest. It may sound cliché. But assuming today is our last day on earth helps us prioritize what’s important.    

So, if you knew, beyond a reasonable doubt, that today were your last day on earth, what would you do? Who would you talk to? What would you say? Chances are, you’d set things right in your life. You’d tell your family and friends how much you love them. You’d ask for forgiveness for your shortcomings. You’d make that phone call you’ve been putting off for so long. Chances are, you might not hit the snooze button.

The truth is, the holiest saints lived with an eye fixed on death. Saint Faustina wrote:

Oh, take me to Yourself, Lord, if such is Your will! You know that I am dying, and I am dying of longing for You; and yet, I cannot die. Death, where are you? You draw me into the abyss of Your divinity, and You veil yourself with darkness. My whole being is immersed in You, yet I desire to see You face to face. When will this come about for me? (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 841)

Ever aware of her own mortality, St. Faustina lived a watchful, vigilent life. She lived every day as if it were her last, because she longed to be with Christ in Heaven. This Advent, as we await the coming of our Lord on Christmas, let's remember our own mortality. Let's try our best to live each day with a mind toward death, so that when our lives come to an end, the Lord doesn't catch us snoozing. 

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