In yesterday’s gospel, the Lord admonishes us to “stay awake” and “be prepared” for his coming. That’s the purpose of Advent: it’s a time set aside for the Bride (the Church) to prepare herself for the coming of the Bridegroom (Christ). In other words, it’s a time for each of us to learn how to direct our hunger and thirst (eros) towards the one who alone can fulfill it. Until Christ comes, people will be “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,” Jesus tells us (Mt 24:38). That’s all fine and good. However, there’s always a danger of turning our desire for Infinite bliss toward finite pleasures. The pleasures of food, drink, and marital union, for example, can point the way to the Infinite, but they’re no substitute for it. In short, the challenge of being “awake” and “prepared” for Christ’s coming is the challenge of remaining hungry in this life and refusing to settle for anything less than the Infinite bliss for which we are created.