The Prize

Eyes on the prize!! Keep your eyes on the prize!

What is the prize, you say? Well, the prize could be different things for different people. For some people, the “prize” might be a goal they’re trying to accomplish. For others, it might be the ideal weight they wish to achieve. Yet others, it might be a position they’re trying to attain.

But for us, believers? Our prize is being with Christ in heaven forever. That’s our ultimate goal and destination!

Today, we are on the precipice of Advent! We are awaiting the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As the responsorial psalm proclaims, Marana tha which means Come, Lord Jesus!

This is a great time to prepare for the Lord’s coming, and not just at Christmas, but anytime He may choose to call us home.


In the first reading from the Book of Revelation, John tells us that an angel showed him a river of life-giving water, flowing from the throne of God. On either side of the river was the tree of life providing fruit twelve times a year, once each month. Nothing accursed will be found anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, with His servants worshiping him. It will be a place of light and not from the sun or a lamp. Sounds so serene and beautiful.

I found this interesting, because just the other day I was hearing stories of near-death experiences, in which it was recounted that all those who went through this experience, and lived to talk about it, always stated they were drawn to the light. And it was a peaceful light, and they felt no fear. Also comforting is the thought that they were never afraid of death after that experience.

John continues with his revelation that the angel that was sent to him told him:

“Behold, I am coming soon.”

Be Vigilant

And Jesus, in the Gospel, tells his disciples:

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man”.

Therein likes our exhortation. Use this time of Advent, not just for the fun and festivities of Christmas parties and the like, but also for preparing your heart for the coming of the Lord at Christmas. Make sure your soul is swept clean, and never take your eyes off the prize!

A Happy and Blessed Advent to you all.

[Readings: RV 22:1-7; LK 21:34-36]

Arlene Braganza

Arlene Braganza is a life-long Catholic who was born and raised in Bahrain and now resides in California. She has been married for over 35 years and has one married daughter living in Los Angeles and a son living in New York. She works as an Office Manager for a busy CPA firm (31 years and counting) and tries to make it to Daily Mass even during the stressful tax season.

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