ISA. 63: 16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7.
I COR. 1:3-9; MARK 13: 33-37.
“LORD, MAKE US TURN TO YOU; LET US SEE YOUR FACE AND WE SHALL BE SAVED.”
Today is the beginning of Advent, a time which the Church offers us to reflect and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ; a celebration of how God chose out of love to enter the limitations, perils, and joys of our physical reality. A time to marvel at God’s love for each of us and how this love needs to be celebrated.
But like any celebration, there needs to be a time for preparation. Think about the time you gave a nice dinner for friends. Such a party does not just come together automatically but requires planning, shopping, decoration, cooking, and hosting. It may also mean moving furniture or cleaning up to remove anything which could distract from the celebration. In other words, there is a need for preparation.
Likewise, during Advent, we are called to take time daily to prepare for the celebration of the Solemnity of the Nativity. Thus as individuals and communally as Church, we need to examine our lives and see what needs to be removed to allow us to celebrate and listen to the God of love during this season of Advent.
What might need to be removed to help us prepare? There are certainly individual sins and habits which can blind to seeing God in our life. Also, during this time of ‘pandemic’, we need to ask if we are not letting fear enslave us? Is fear blocking us from others, from acting out our freedom as sons and daughters of God, and keeping us from asking questions based on logic, not emotions? Fear can be deadly spiritually as it blocks us from love which is why repeatedly Jesus cautioned against it saying: “FEAR NOT’ and ‘FEAR IS USELESS’. Let us pray for hope, courage, and openness to the Christ who wishes to come to us.
During this First Advent let us ask for the grace to listen and the courage to pray; “LORD, MAKE US TURN TO YOU; LET US SEE YOUR FACE AND WE SHALL BE SAVED.”
God bless you and happy beginning to Advent.
Br. John Kiesler, OFM