Often times we feel uncomfortable waiting. Just think about it for a minute…we get frustrated even for the smallest things, like a line at the bank or the post office because “there are a lot of things to get done and we have no time to waste.” It is even harder for the new generations, because nowadays we are used to getting everything faster than ever. You want to watch a movie at home? You don’t have to make a trip to the store anymore because there are many services out there to download movies at the touch of a button ….don’t like the TV ads? Don’t worry, because there is a special feature to skip them. Even though it is good that things are getting done faster these days, there is a lot to learn from the experience of waiting and to gain from the virtues of patience and silence.
Do you know what Advent means? The word Advent comes from the Latin adventus which means “to come”. In ancient times this word was used to refer to the coming of a king to his people. The first Christians used the same word to refer to the coming of the Lord among His people. The season of Advent reminds us of two realities. First that God is present in the world and in our lives, that His presence has not reached its fullness, and that we are called to communicate His presence to others. The second refers to the Lord’s second coming at the end of times.
In the Church’s Liturgical Calendar we have time for everything: to celebrate, to repent, to convert, to rejoice, to meditate, etc. You can live out the year with the Church by living each season in unity with the whole community of believers and by taking advantage of all the means that we have available to reach our goal of becoming saints. A couple of weeks ago the Church invited us to reflect on the direction our lives are taking and about the end of times. Then, the Feast of Christ the King reminded us of the centrality of Christ in our lives. Now, during the Advent Season we are reminded by John the Baptist to “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” (Lk 3:4) because Advent is a time for conversion and prayer, in order to prepare for the Lord’s coming.
Today in our busy world people tend to skip this season, celebrating Christmas before preparing for it. It is hard to think of Advent as a time different from Christmas because everything around us tells us that Christmas is already here! For example, what kind of music do we hear on the radio since November?
Advent is a special time to make a stop in our life’s journey and to think about how we are doing and what we can do to get closer to Christ to welcome Him in the “manger” of our hearts. How would you like to receive the Child Jesus this year? I invite you to make this season of Advent a joyful time of active waiting and expectation of the Lord. One of the ways you can do so is by thinking of something concrete you can do to prepare your heart for Jesus, like doing an act of charity for someone in need or offering up some kind of sacrifice and making a resolution to do it during this time.
I hope you have a blessed Advent, so that at Christmas Christ can be born again in your heart, and bear abundant fruit in your life.