Famed Catholic singer/songwriter Matt Maher is getting into the Christmas spirit by reflecting on the Gospel of the First Sunday of Advent. In the brief video, released on December 8, Maher reads the passage of the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 13, and shares his own experiences as a father to explain its meaning.
Sitting before a Christmas tree and a piano, donned in his platinum beard that resembles Santa Claus a little more each year, Maher begins by reading the Gospel passage:
“Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
“Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”Mark 13:33-37 – from USCCB
The Gospel brought to his mind Maher’s experiences as a father with newborn children. He explained that he would always volunteer to stay up for “night duty,” because he’s “a bit of a night owl,” and he liked doing it. As the hours grew later, however, he found that it was very hard to stay awake. The singer remarks, however, that this is not what he believes Jesus meant in this passage when he instructs the disciples to “be watchful.”
“I think staying awake and staying alert in this particular instance is obviously about your heart and your soul being alert and being awake. I think the only way that that truly happens in the life of someone is that it’s not so much about what we’re doing as it’s about who we’re doing it with. Staying awake to the presence of God is ultimately just staying in the presence of God.”
Maher goes on to state that the more time one spends in the presence of God, the more one is attuned to it. Using his family as an example, he explained that if he hears his children crying out in the night, he is up to their rooms in a few seconds — even from a dead sleep. He said that he has spent so much time with his kids that his mind is attuned to their voices, and even his subconscious can identify their needs.
This is no different, Maher says, than the relationship between the faithful and God the Father, who knows our voices “infinitely more.” However, for us, the children of God the Father, it is important for us to spend time with Him and become attuned to His voice.
“He wants us to spend time with Him so that we know his voice and so we can be attuned and alert to His presence and spirit so that when it moves in the tiniest and most miniscule ways we can respond.”
Watching Maher’s reflection on the First Sunday of Advent is like a window into an alternate reality, in which the esteemed Catholic singer did not miss a calling as a priest! It is a lovely sentiment presented in a wholesome atmosphere and just brimming with introspective Catholic thought.
We can’t wait to hear more reflections for the remaining Sundays of Advent. Follow Matt Maher on YouTube to keep up with all his releases, from fine religious themed music to personal reflections on his songs, faith, and life.