Yes, Jesus is coming!  Ready or not!  Remember that game hide and seek?  Ready or not, “here I come!”

I picture Jesus being the one to “find me” and “tagging me” either prepared or unprepared not only for the coming celebration of His birth on December 25th but also for the day when I leave this “earthly pilgrimage” and stand face-to-face before Him!

So, what prompted me to ask this question to myself, “Anita, are you ready? Will you be ready for the great Feast of Christmas?”  I found myself, however, asking yet another deeper question. “Do I have my bags packed and am I ready to stand before the Son of God at this precise moment in time?”

Am I Ready?

 

I thought I was until I had “the dream” the other night.  Yes!  Another dream! Jesus seems to be teaching me in my sleep when He has my full attention!

In the dream, I found myself preparing to renew my wedding vows with my husband.  

Finding my wedding gown up in the attic,

I realized all too quickly that the dress that I wore 48 years ago

was not going to slip right on as it did on my wedding day.  

I was totally unprepared and lacked my “wedding garment.”

Plain and simple!  

And that is the message I awoke with the next morning.

The dream seemed to spell out. . . “Anita, you are not ready!”  

Although you may think you are!

What Did I Make of It?

Well I took the dream to prayer right away and it seemed a bit frightening to me. Was this Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Was I being warned?

YIKES!!!! I didn’t have a wedding garment!

Was I going to be locked out because I would not be dressed appropriately?

I immediately thought of scripture and thumbed through my bible to find the chapter in Matthew 22:11-14:

“When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent  Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” 

For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Pretty powerful words, aren’t they? Certainly words to sit with regarding the “wedding garment” and how one acquires that mode of dress.

What was I doing wrong?  Or maybe “what wasn’t I doing?”

Oh my goodness! I remember a friend, Kathleen, sitting at my table one day and sharing about a priest who was giving a homily to the congregation.  He said, “There are people here in this Church that you have been sitting beside now for a very long time, but you will not see these people in Heaven.”

Kathleen told us that she was horrified by this statement but the priest went on to say some of these people had not been to confession in over 30 years and had no plans to change that situation. There were other reasons that he set forth in his homily that day.  Yikes was my reaction and I remember thinking silently to myself, “Am I safe?”

Jesus was clearly giving me a “heads up” through my dream and I had to explore further the only way I knew how. . .

Come Holy Spirit

 

I found myself pondering again the scripture for the First Sunday in Advent. . .

Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans – 13:11-14:

“Brothers and Sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. 

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.”

With this reading, Jesus was clearly telling me what my “wedding garment” was to be; Put Him on.

 

St. Teresa of Avila Chimes In

 

I continued to stay with scripture and read through my Magnificat glancing at a meditation written by Saint Teresa of Avila. It was for Monday, December 2nd in regard to the Gospel of Matthew 8:5-11 about the Centurion and his faith that amazed Jesus.

St. Teresa laments in the following dialogue with Jesus:

“What shall I do, my Lord”

What shall I do, my God?

Oh, how late have my desires been enkindled

and how early, Lord,

were you seeking and calling

that I might be totally taken up with you!

Oh my goodness!  I could not believe what I was reading.  What struck me was the last line above:

“that I might be totally taken up with you! 

Then St. Teresa gives me the zinger as follows:

Recover, my God, the lost time by giving me grace in the present and future

so that I may appear before you with

wedding garments;

for if you want to, you can do so.”

I was being nourished and fed by Jesus not only through Holy Scripture but through the words and prayers of His Saints. He wasn’t giving me this dream to scare me but to shake me and awake me. He wanted my attention, I was to be attentive to Him.

Many years ago, I heard a very powerful statement, “Are you so busy with the work of the Lord that you forget the Lord of the work?”

I think I hit bingo! Jesus was speaking to me in my dream when I was finally resting from the busy-ness of the day and working in the vineyard.  But He, too, needs my love, my joy, my care and my concern.

Single-mindedness

My wedding garment is to be woven in the “thread of union with Jesus, to be “totally taken up with Him!”  To “put Him on” as scripture states above.

Jesus wants my single-mindedness to be on Him alone. God alone!

The definition of Single-minded is:

“to focus on one thing at the expense of anything else.”

It’s full of determination,

committed,

unswerving,

unwavering,

resolute,

persevering,

tireless,

tenacious,

persistent,

uncompromising and devoted. 

How beautiful my wedding garment will be if I can just weave some of the above adjectives into my life; to be single-minded and to be totally taken up with Jesus; to have my eyes set on Him only throughout the course of every breathing moment in my life.

Jesus seemed to be sending the Saints in and I found this little tidbit of wisdom from Mother Angelica in my inbox. She may not be a Saint in the Catholic Church yet, but there is no doubt she will be and she’s doing her job now helping us out here.

 

“And so I think if we keep our heart at peace,

then our home with Jesus becomes more and more secure.

And there’s where single-mindedness comes in.

We have to have a single mind.

What do I desire?

I desire Jesus, and there He is.”

                                                                                                                                  -Mother Angelica

And finally, I end with the prayer of  St. Teresa to redeem lost time and Libera’s beautiful song on Time.

Time is so very precious, each and every moment. We never know when our “time” will be up and when we will be tagged by the One who wants to be found but if we are “taken up with Him only,” then we will have nothing to worry about or what to wear!

 

Prayer to Redeem Lost Time

“O my God! Source of all mercy! 

I acknowledge Your sovereign power. 

While recalling the wasted years that are past, 

I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant 

turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, 

yet I firmly believe that You can do all things.

Please restore to me the time lost, 

giving me Your grace, both now and in the future, 

that I may appear before You in wedding garments. Amen.”

~ St. Teresa of Jesus

 

 

©2019 Anita Guariglia

Scripture quoted from Jerusalem Bible

Featured Image Photo Credit – Pixabay

Photo Credit/Holy Spirit – Pixabay

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Youtube: Libera “Time”