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First Sunday of Advent Reflections Violet is for Vigilance

That we are called to be vigilant so that the devil cannot destroy our lives in the society

Fr. Wilmer Tria

The main theme of the readings this first Sunday of Advent is vigilance. In the first reading, God promises to send the Lord of Justice from the roots of David. To expect Him is to be vigilant. In the Responsorial Psalm, this Lord is decribed as a guide who leads us to justice. To Him we must lift up our souls.

In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul exhorts that they must be strong and behave accordingly as they wait for the coming of the Lord. Similarly, Luke describes the coming of the Lord as something frightening to many, yet we must stand erect and raise our eyes, be vigilant at all times and pray.

The devil is ready 24/7 to snatch our souls when we lack vigilance. It anticipates our moments of weakness so it can hold us captive. Vigilance is the price we have to pay in exchange for freedom. There are at least three types of vigilance. The first is preventive, the second is participative, and the third is punitive. Preventive vigilance is the way we watch our growing kids. We watch them at all times to make sure they are out of danger. Participative vigilance is the way we implement and monitor our day to day activities. Managers meet their staff weekly to discuss operational concerns, issues and courses of action. Punitive is the last type of vigilance. It is the way we ensure that those who misbehaved are punished, and those who did their job well are rewarded. As Catholics, we are trained to be vigilant at all times.

The most effective type of vigilance is preventive. We are familiar with the saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Many bad things happen to good children when we delegate vigilance to our yayas. Vigilance cannot be delegated. CCTV is a powerful technology, but it is not preventive. It can monitor and record an act of robbery but not prevent it. Constant guidance is needed. In governance, the most effective way of averting corruption is by putting up systems and structures, policies and procedures that encourage transparency, integrity and honesty. As Catholic citizens, our moral duty is to be vigilant so that we can help establish an honest and transparent government.

Real politics is local politics. Vigilance in politics begins in the barangay. A good Catholic is engaged in Barangay politics. Building God’s kingdom of love, justice and peace must begin in the barangay. Our neighborhood is our first mission area. Charity also begins at home. Vigilance in holiness begins inside our hearts and is practised within the family. Daily examination of conscience is our built-in mechanism for self rectification. Fraternal correction is likewise our built-in mechanism to ensure a spiritually healthy family that is committed to bring Christ to the community. This first Sunday of Advent, we wear violet. It stands for vigilance


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