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Do you remember the classic Folgers Coffee commercial called, “Peter Comes Home for Christmas.” (Watch it here.) I loved this commercial growing up and it was on every Christmas. In it, Peter makes his way home on Christmas and surprises everyone. It’s clear that no one expected him and yet there he was. And he made coffee.
The commercial is a little idyllic. I wonder if Peter’s parents prepared for him to come home? They weren’t expecting him and were happy he was there, but were they ready for him to come home? If they didn’t expect him to come home, I bet they didn’t do anything to prepare.
The question today’s gospel asks us is this – do we believe that God is coming to be near to us? Do we really expect God to come? If not, then nothing in our lives has to change. We don’t have to change anything about how we live or what we do day to day if we don’t expect God to come.
The message of the gospel on this the first Sunday of Advent, is that God is coming. God will return to his people. God is on his way and we should prepare, be ready, and be alert to his return. The key we can’t expect to know when God is coming, but we can be certain that God is coming.
If we believe that God is coming, what are we willing to do about it? How do we stay alert and ready? Jesus’ key word is “watch.” We have to look for God. My dad would say that we must keep our “eyes pealed.” We must look for God’s coming to us with the eyes of our heart.
Pray everyday for this first week of advent this simple prayer: “God, open my eyes to see how you are coming into my life.”