Today we begin the liturgical season of Advent. Once again, we face the challenge of spiritually preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, as we also decorate, prepare food for family celebrations, do our gift shopping, send out greeting cards or e-greetings and do so many other things. We know very well that this is a super busy time of year.
Advent speaks to us about “coming”. We begin the season of Advent reflecting on the second coming of Jesus Christ. We know not the day or the hour of Christ’s second coming. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come…. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
Jesus comes to us each day. If we miss His coming in our lives each day, probably we will miss His coming on Christmas Day. Jesus comes to us as we read and reflect on Scriptures. Like, Mary, we ponder God’s word in our thoughts and hearts. A good spiritual practice is to read the Scriptures in advance of Mass, reflect and then hear them proclaimed at Mass.
Jesus comes to us in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist and in Confession. St. Paul writes in today’s 2nd reading: Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day… Confession helps us to live each day and each hour in the light of Christ, to reject the works of darkness.
Jesus comes to us when we take time out for prayer each day and when we come together as a community to pray the Mass.
Jesus comes to us in the least of the brothers and sisters in Christ, those in need – spiritually, physically, pyschogically or emotionally.
The invitation during Advent is for us to examine our lives. How can I become more like Christ? How can I become more selfless and less selfish? We pray in the words of the prophet Isiah, that God may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.
God bless us all always!