Happy(?) Advent

Today begins the holy season of Advent.

Fr. Don suggested this morning that perhaps we should all be particularly alert to the “arrivals” of Christ among us throughout this season. You know how kids and adults struggle to do something and fail many times before that moment when they arrive…when they finally get it.

Christ will continue to come among us in various ways through each other this season. It’s a beautiful thing to see. We see it in big acts of kindness–and little ones, too. It is then that Almighty God is arriving.

Advent is a time to reflect and, as today’s second reading (1 Thes 3:12-4:2) advises, “to increase and abound in love….to be blameless in holiness before God the Father”.

What are we to reflect on? The gift of the Son in our lives–who continues to arrive, and the big arrival we celebrate come Christmas.

So it is that we must restore Christ to the center of the season’s festivities. As we celebrated last week, He is King!

And so we wait. Not passive waiting, but anticipation.

Advent is at once joyful and somber–a combination that makes us realize that we must always prepare for his arrival into our daily lives. This is not something to fear, but rather something to embrace.

Why? Because we wait for that day when the prophecy of Jeremiah recorded in today’s first reading (Jer 33:14-16) will reach fulfillment in our lives; when we will be in perfect union with God. It’s a joyful thing we have to look forward to!

Yet also a somber thing that we aren’t there yet. So it is that we must remain vigilant and joyful as we look ahead to God’s coming to us as the Son. Here’s some advice to you straight from God from today’s Gospel:

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.

My prayers for you this Advent!