A Time of Waiting and Hoping
The weekend that follows Thanksgiving also brings with it the beginning of Advent, a period of four weeks during which the Church prepares for the coming of Christ in the mystery of Christmas. The coming of Christ in Christmas Mystery reminds us of two other comings of Christ:
(1) The coming of Christ in history two thousand years ago;
(2) The coming of Christ at the end of the ages.
At his first coming Christ was not recognized. Born of poor parents in a stable in Bethlehem, he was ignored by the world around him. And yet God was present in this child; for this child was the very Son of God, the eternal Word of the Father.
At his second coming, the situation will be very different. In God’s own way, in God’s own time, Christ will come in a way that nobody will be able to ignore or deny him. Christ will come to judge the living and the dead. But if we are to be ready for Christ when he comes at the end of the ages, we need to prepare for the coming of Christ in Christmas mystery. This is why Advent is so important.
So how should we observe Advent so that we can prepare for the coming of Christ in Christmas mystery and at the end of ages? Here are some suggestions.
- First, set aside some quiet time for prayer and reflection. Read the scriptures, especially the Gospels.
- Second, pay attention to the texts of Mass, they are especially rich this time of year.
- Third, break the cycle of consumerism. Do not get caught up in the frenzy of spending and buying.
- Fourth, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Season of Advent so that you will be ready for the Lord when he comes into your life.
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