Tomorrow will begin the third of the four weeks of the season of Advent, in which we prepare ourselves in a special way for the coming of Jesus. The word Advent means ‘coming.’
Firstly, we prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas, the historical birth of Jesus Christ, His first coming into the world. The angel Gabriel told the poor shepherds who were nearby when Jesus was born, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “(Luke 2:11) The Mass readings during Advent remind us how the people of the Old Testament waited in hopeful expectation for the coming of the Messiah.
Secondly, in addition to celebrating the historical event of Jesus’ birth, the most important event in all human history, we prepare ourselves spiritually to receive Him and His grace in a special way at Christmas. This way, our hearts and souls can become spiritual mangers ready to receive the Child Jesus.
Thirdly, we call to mind, with a joyful hope, the fact that Jesus will come again-His Second and Final coming. The Mass readings during Advent also remind us of Jesus’ second coming and the need to be prepared at all times to receive Him with joy at His Second Coming, when He comes in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory to separate the wicked from the good.
“Behold I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”(Revelation 22:12-13)
“Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
8Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 98:7-9)
How can we prepare ourselves during Advent?
We can prepare ourselves this Advent by amending our lives. Let us resolve to make Christ the center of our lives through prayer (i.e. the Holy Rosary), frequent participation at Holy Mass and Holy Communion, and frequent use of the Sacraments (i.e. Confession) in order to purify ourselves so that we may be ready to receive Him at Christmas and always.
Have A Blessed and Joyous Advent!