Skip to main content

Alive, Alert, Awake, Enthusiastic

Taken from Sambuhay (December 1, 2013 | 1st Sunday of Advent)
Written by: Fr. Victor S. Nicdao

As a seminarian, I would facilitate recollections for high school students and one icebreaker I remember so well is the song "I'm alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic." Students would be divided into four groups, each group assigned a word from the song. The students would then stand up whenever their word came up as we sang. After the son, the students were all alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic, not to mention panting and perspiring from the kick they got out of the song. 

The song captures one of the important themes of this Sunday's Gospel reading. In four examples, it highlights the need for steadfast vigilance. The first example is that of Noah. People during his time were so engrossed in the ordinary daily activities and concerns ("eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage"). There is nothing wrong with these normal everyday activities and the attitude of "business as usual" in themselves. It was the people's lack of vigilance and their unpreparedness that eventually caught them by surprise and led to their ruin. The second and third examples are similar. Of two men in the field and of two women grinding the mill, "one will be taken, and one will be left." Exteriorly, both will be doing the same thing. What distinguishes the two characters from each other must be internal. Again, the difference presumably is that one is ready and alert, while the other is not. This is explicitly asserted in the text: "Therefore, stay awake!" The fourth and last example again underscores the need for watchful vigilance, especially for an eventuality that is unknown, like the coming of the thief in the night. 

A lot of people are hurrying. Teenagers hurry to be adults; students are anxious to graduate and want to work. With hurrying comes worrying. One writer perceptibly remarked that he can write the biography of many people with three words: Hurry, Worry, Bury. The Gospel today is a reminder that not everything can be rushed. The Lord cannot simply be fitted to our timetable and at our convenience. We do not know when He will come. He comes, as the song we like to sing in church says, "in His time." 

Our world today is also distracted by so many things like a crying baby is by shaking of a rattle. The only difference is that instead of a rattle, we have today many modern gadgets and toys, many games and so-called amusements, that we can easily be distracted. 

There was Plants vs Zombies, then Temple Run and followed by Bejeweled and other computer games. Now Candy Crush is the hottest craze. Will it be the case of two men watching their favorite telenovela, one will be taken and the other will be left? Or will it be the case of two teenagers so busy twitting, one will be taken and the other will be left? While there may not be anything wrong with these in themselves, they can be all too consuming and lull us into sluggish inertness so that we fail to welcome the Lord who knocks at our hearts. 

Last month, I received a text message which goes: "A teenager went to a wise man and asked him, 'What is the best time to pray?' The man replied, 'The best time to pray is before you die.' The teenager protested, 'But nobody knows when I will die! It can come anytime or any moment!' To this, the wise man responded, 'You are right. Death can come anytime and any moment to anyone. So, the best time to pray is always.'"

What can be said of prayer can be said of vigilance. The Lord can come knocking at our doors anytime and any moment. Therefore, we must remain steadfast and constant in our vigilance for the Lord's coming. The message of the Gospel straightforwardly hollers: "Stay awake!" Remain steadfastly vigilant! Be alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic.


Popular posts from this blog

Jesus Week 2015: A Time To HEAL ♥

I had the best, most meaningful HOLY WEEK ever, so far (the best is yet to come!). :) Thanks to Joy who shared the Jesus Week poster on Facebook. It was God's personal invitation, and I couldn't thank Him enough for the grace that He also gave me to respond. Everything is grace. It was not just my personal decision to join. It was God's grace that allowed me to. 
So how did it go? Well, as what I have told my friends, it was amazingly beautiful! The experience was priceless! On Holy Monday, I posted Fr. Jerry Orbos' acronym for HOLY WEEK. I experienced all of that and more! :) 
I won't be able to share everything as there is just a lot of personal, intimate encounters with the Lord. But if I were to summarize, it was a time for me to HEAL. :) 
Halt. Indeed, I was able to stop and just rest in the Lord. Before leaving Manila, I have already told myself that this retreat will be all about Jesus (Jesus Week nga e :D). No emails, no texts, no calls. I'll just spend…

Understanding Lupang Hinirang

Every Filipino knows Lupang Hinirang (though some know it better as "Bayang Magiliw"). How can you not know it when it is the national anthem of the Philippines? But do we really mean the lyrics that we sing? Do we understand it in the first place? 


This video has gone viral weeks ago. This afternoon, I shared it to my teammates, and one commented, "Yun pala yun. Ngayon ko lang naintindihan."He immediately downloaded it and converted to MP3.
So for those who have not seen it, once again, here is Joey Ayala's version of Lupang Hinirang. And I agree, you would never want to sing it in another way. (But that's just me. :D) This rendition is simply beautiful. Truly Filipino. :) Of course that doesn't mean we need to revise our national anthem but maybe we can consider about correcting the way we sing it (read: proper pronunciation).

Read more about the Philippine National Anthem here.

P.S. I read a lot of negative comments on the original video uploaded o…

Thank You, Lord! :)

It has been a long and stressful day (the past three days have been lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng and stressssssssssssssssssssssssssssssful), but You are just so amazing, Lord that I couldn't sleep without telling You how grateful I am. :)
Thank You, Lord for the miracle that You did yesterday. Break even and more. :)
Thank You, Lord for the laughter and stories shared during the post-mission meeting with Team Thailand. :)
Thank You, Lord for Lawrence. He is just the (almost) perfect man. He has his flaws, but they are acceptable; he makes mistakes, but they are all forgivable. There are a lot of men but there can never be anyone else. He's really the one. And You know it very well. :)
Thank You, Lord for giving me strength and endurance each day. :)
Thank You, Lord for the short but restful sleeps. :)
Thank You, Lord for every waking moment and every opportunity that You give me to proclaim Your greatness. :) Thank You, Lord for Your message through Fr. Frank. I heard it loud…

The Holy Spirit*

*Cluster 4 Household Topic
Reflections from John 15:26-16:4

True friendship is strengthened in adversity. Jesus offers His disciples the best and truest of friends. Who is this promised friend? 
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our Counselor and Advocate (also translated Paraclete or Helper). Counselor is a legal term for the one who will defend someone against an adversary and who guides that person during the ordeal of trial. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Helper who brings us safely through the challenges and adversities we must face in this life. As Jesus approaches the hour that He was to be glorified - through His death on the cross and His resurrection - He revealed more fully to His disciples the person and the role of the Holy Spirit. What does Jesus tell us about the Holy Spirit? 
First, the Holy Spirit is inseparably one with the Father and the Son. It is the Holy Spirit who gives life - the very life of God - and who kindles faith in hearts receptive to God's word. The S…

Interesting Facts Courtesy of Celebrity Bluff :)

I was writing a different post, but Celebrity Bluff is just so fun and informative, I had to stop from blogging to list down the fun facts that I learn from each round. :) 


Thought it would be nice to share them here as well. For future reference. :D 
Q: In 2012, what kind of animal was named after Beyonce? A: Horse Fly
Q: What rare job in China will pay you US$50,000 a year?  A: Fart Smeller
Q: What alcoholic drink literally means "water of life"? A: Whisky
Q: In which part of the body can you find the tragus? A: Ear
Q: According to Merriam-Webster, what is the female equivalent of dude? A: Dudine
Q: What is longer in the male turtles than in the females?  A: Nails
And the final question is...
Q: According to Box Office Mojowhat are the top four (4) movies of 2013 according to global profit? A: (1) Iron Man 3, (2) Despicable Me 2, (3) Fast and the Furious 6 (4) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
That's all for today. :) 
For more fun facts, follow Celebrity Bluff on Twitter or watch it…