Amelia (Marcum) Ruggaber ’04
FaithND Editor

As a kid, I always imagined the signs Jesus describes as global-reaching, natural disasters happening back to back. In the sky—a meteorite crashing into the moon and such intense solar variations that satellite and power grids would be wiped out.

Having now been part of a global pandemic coupled with many moments of societal unrest, it often feels like we are living through our own version of these signs. Regardless of how circumstances appear, Jesus calls us to stand and look up to signify not just courageous awareness but also miraculous, supernatural reliance on Christ.

I say supernatural because the natural fight or flight response in humans is hard-wired to react within seconds of any perceived threat. We rarely notice we’ve slipped into fight or flight until we are several angry words in or miles away from trouble.

To disrupt this physiological response requires constant self-awareness—that vigilance Christ encourages in today’s gospel “at all times.” It also requires total abandonment to divine providence.

It’s this last part that feels impossible to me because, if I’m honest, I know I’m too much like a fearful Peter or a doubting Thomas. Too many times, I’ve run away from intense experiences because I was afraid. Too many times, I’ve jumped into a fight when love, not prideful anger, was the cure.

No, I know I can’t do this alone.

Then I am reminded that in God’s infinite wisdom and love, there is an open invitation. If I ask, I don’t have to be alone.

Lord, as we begin this season of Advent, may we stand erect relying on your church, your saints, your angels, and most of all your beloved Son and Holy Spirit for strength. May we raise our heads knowing that our eyes will meet your beauty and love, first in a humble manger and then someday in the glory of heaven.