It is good to remember that God is present to us even in the small, everyday events of our lives, Pope Francis said on the first Sunday of Advent.
In his Angelus address Nov. 27, the pope said, “Let us bear this in mind: God is hidden in our life, he is always there — he is concealed in the commonest and most ordinary situations in our life.”
God, he continued, “does not come in extraordinary events, but in everyday things.”
“He is there, in our daily work, in a chance encounter, in the face of someone in need, even when we face days that seem grey and monotonous, it is right there that we find the Lord, who calls to us, speaks to us and inspires our actions,” he said.
Pope Francis spoke about the season of Advent, the period of preparation for the Lord’s coming on Christmas, from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. And he presented a question for reflection: “How can we recognize and welcome the Lord?”
It is important, he said, that we are “awake, alert, vigilant.”
The pope also quoted from a sermon of St. Augustine, who said, “I fear the Lord who passes by.”
“That is, I fear that he will pass by and I will not recognize him,” Pope Francis explained.
He pointed out the warning Jesus gave his disciples in the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew: Jesus said people in the time of Noah “ate and drank ‘and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away.’”
The people, Pope Francis said, “were absorbed in their own things and did not realize that the flood was about to come.”
“In this time of Advent, let us be shaken out of our torpor and let us awaken from our slumber,” he said. “Let’s try to ask ourselves: am I aware of what I am living, am I alert, am I awake? Do I try to recognize God is present in daily situations, or am I distracted and a little overwhelmed by things?”
“If we are unaware of his coming today, we will also be unprepared when he arrives at the end of times. Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us remain vigilant.”