We continue on the Christian journey

By Pat Wettstein | For The Compass | November 23, 2016

The Living Rite column explores what you will see, hear, taste, touch or smell while at church this weekend.

Stay awake! Be ready! Sounds like something my husband says to me when I start to doze on the recliner as we are watching an intriguing movie. But today’s Gospel message is anything but a lazy evening movie. It is about the journey we are on and the need for steady awareness and careful attention to our destination. As I look back on the beginning of life’s journey, the first image that comes to mind is that mad dash to the hospital maternity ward where that miracle of life finally emerges and is thrust into the cold air of reality. Then it is the journey home to the newly made up nursery. That exciting, cautious Advent wait is over, we have arrived.

Our Christian journey begins here also, as we are presented to our new community and baptized with the waters of new life. As we continue on, we are prepared for the journey to first reconciliation. Whew, what a journey that was to that first confession. Talk about being awake and ready! Of course that led us to our first Eucharist, the culmination of all that Advent anxiety of quiet waiting for that first of taste of salvation.

The next big step of our life’s journey, that first step into an adult relationship with God, was confirmation. Although, looking back, I realize now what I could not appreciate then — that the Holy Spirit was always with me as I have journeyed through life after that sacrament.

For many of us came the service sacraments of matrimony or ordination. For me, it was marriage. What a sweet, head-rushing journey that was. Love is truly intoxicating. But then came that long journey of living out that sacrament and raising a family and all that it entails. As someone once told me, all those days were good, some were just better than others and they still are.

But the one journey that is always central to our Christian living is the journey every Sunday from our house to the house of worship, where we again journey down that aisle and face the Lord. We bring along with us all of the worries, constraints and joy-filled moments of the past week and lay them on the altar. This is the journey that sustains us.

This Sunday you will note the change of color from the green of Ordinary Time to the violet of Advent. You will also observe lesser ornamentation in and around the sanctuary. During Advent, we reflect on how our journey is going, what can we do better and what can we discard that is weighing us down. So, stay awake and be ready, because we never know where that journey will take us. It may well be that last journey to our promised reward.

Wettstein is a volunteer choir director and former director of music and liturgy at Good Shepherd Parish, Chilton.

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