Well, the big day has come and gone. We now have the Third Edition of the Roman Missal as the new translation for Mass, and I must say it was a very good experience today. After all the mailings, inserts, presentations and discussions, people seemed to be open to the "active listening" that we have encouraged. Judging by the comments after Masses, most did pay close attention to the prayers of the priest, and appreciated the new, more poetic language. Even some of the more unusual words ( consubstantial, incarnate, etc.) once explained, seemed to be embraced. It will be an ongoing process for all of us, as we continue to explore the new phrasing and sentence structure that forces us to pay attention. And that is exactly the point of today's Gospel - stay alert, watch! Of course it is primarily watching for the coming of the Lord, but I also think that we need to watch the words we use when praying, and be alert for unusual or confusing phrases that we may not understand. These present opportunities for us to reflect, pray, investigate and seek understanding, so that the prayers of the priest may reflect our needs, or praise, our gratitude to God.
As we begin this Advent Season, I pray that we all will be alert to the many ways that the Lord comes to us each day. And, as we continue to use and come to appreciate the new translation, we should anticipate an increase in our understanding of the many ways God impacts our lives. All we have to do is watch for it!