For those of us who follow the life of the church we can also say Happy New Year since today, the first Sunday of Advent, is the first day of the new Church year. I’m looking forward to celebrating Masses today both in the Hurunui and this afternoon at St. Mary’s pro-Cathedral in Christchurch at 5.30.
In today’s gospel you will hear the exhortation “stay awake” (or in other translations “keep alert”).
The challenge of being really awake is that we experience every emotion and every mood every day. While we don’t mind the good moments, the pain and struggle and stress gets a bit much. Instead of seeing difficult circumstances as a pathway to greater maturity, we too often use busyness, noise, activity, drink, drugs and sex to numb the pain. But when we come-to again we realise that these escapes don’t work and they never deliver the relief they promise…