Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert!” Five times in the four verses of the Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent Jesus gives us some variation of the admonition to “watch.” Since the Church’s year ended with the same word of warning that should tell us that to be on the watch is a daily, a constant effort. The British troops on December 25, 1776 did not watch and Washington crossed the Delaware River and routed them. We are faithful to our prayer even when it seems dry because we don’t know when God will be there for us and we must be ready. We must also watch for the unexpected. One of the most exciting plays in football is the fleaflicker. The play starts as if the runner is going in one direction but he hands the football of to another runner who goes in the other direction but he, in turn, gives the ball back to the quarterback who is able to pass to a wide open receiver because the defense has been fooled into thinking it was a running play. We watch for the unexpecte in our spiritual lives as well because God’s revelation will come to us in unexpected ways — in the newly arrived immigrant, in the grouching neighbor, in a co-worker of fellow student. Watching also entails waiting, but waiting full of trust. As the Psalmist puts it sentinels wait for the dawn — but they are confident that no matter how dark the night, morning is coming. We watch in anticipation. There are a group of scientists involved in what is called the SETI project. They point their antennae to various points in the sky hoping to hear a message from ET. So far, no long but they are on the watch for when it happens. We watch in joy. We enjoy watching a child grow because we see the vast potential in each individual … which is why it is incumbent on us to do everything in our power to keep the children safe. We watch someone who is dying with love. As they transition to the new and fuller life that God has in store for us we know that our love for them will carry them into glory. As Jesus commanded, WATCH.