When my nephew was younger, we would use NORAD’s website to track Santa’s progress around the world. Jason would want us to go to the website every few minutes to see where he was. At a certain point, with eager expectation, we had to get him to bed. What a challenge! His expectation was unlimited. All good things were about to happen.

And we? Are we affected by our expectations as an eager child who is waiting for Santa? And do our sound expectations motivate our behaviors and open us to new possibilities?

Jesus’ admonition, ” Be watchful! Be alert!” in our gospel was spoken to hearers holding expectations that the Messiah was about to come to restore Israel to its former power, wealth and glory. However, their expectations narrowed their vision. Their limited expectations prevented them from recognizing Jesus as the Messiah already in their midst. Why? Who would expect a carpenter to be the Messiah!

The challenge for us is to be open our eyes to the simple, everyday ways God is present to us with gifts we cannot imagine.

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