Today, we as a Church of Jesus Christ, begin a new liturgical year. Advent is the first of all liturgical seasons and is rather short in comparison to Ordinary Time which consists of thirty-three Sundays. Advent is just four Sundays
and that the fourth Sunday of Advent this year falls on Christmas Eve. So why do we as Church begin each New Year with a period of waiting? It is a reminder to all that we as a Church are waiting and expecting, not Jesus incarnate as a baby, but the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as promised. We are instructed during this waiting to
“Watch”, to be alert and to keep in mind that the time may be near. And what would we be most comfortable with Jesus finding in us upon his arrival? We might want to make a mental, if not physical, list of what we hope Jesus will see in us when he comes again. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts, our minds and our hands to be engaged in loving and caring for all of God’s people.
Would we not want Jesus to see that in us? Would we not want him to see that we are making an effort to accept and love his people; all the people of the world? Do others see the goodness of God in us? Do others desire to live and love as we do? That is our hope; it is what Jesus came to teach when he lived and walked among us. He taught us, sometimes with very stern words what it means to be his disciple and at times his lessons were difficult. We struggle to live them daily, for it takes effort and resolve on our part. Jesus never told us that being his disciple was going to be easy, but he did promise us eternal glory as the reward for our goodness. So how will you spend the next four weeks preparing your heart? Let us take time to pause and to ponder the gift that we will once again celebrate on Christmas; the incredible gift of Godself! God sent his own Son, to live with us, to teach and instruct, to love and to forgive us. Jesus offered his own life to pay the price for our sins that our debt to our loving God might be paid and in that he paved the way, made straight the path to eternal life with the Father. What an incredible gift! How is it that we deserve that? It was not given to us because we deserved it. It is pure and simple a gift from God. Are we ready to accept it? Let us be vigilant in our watching and waiting for Christ’s return. Let us make Christ proud as he finds us living what he taught and engaged in loving and caring for his people. Let this time of waiting during Advent become a time of preparation for our eternal life with our incredible Father.
In joyful hope we wait,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC