Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrating Advent

Advent: what a wonderful season. It's a season of joy, of hope, of expectancy, and longing for the coming of Christ. While we eagerly await the celebration of the birth of Christ at Christmas--God's Incarnation ("Enfleshment")--we also anticipate His coming again in glory, this time, not as the vulnerable, dependent Baby, subject to our limitations of time and space, but as the triumphant Lion of Judah, Righteous Judge and King of the Universe. As I prepare for His coming at Christmas, do I long for His return? If I knew this were to be my last Advent season, would I celebrate differently? Would I prepare for His coming differently? Would you? After all, this Advent or another WILL be our last, the last one before we meet the Lord at our death, for unless we remain alive at His return, we will all die, "and after that the judgement", as scripture tells us. We must prepare well today to meet Him as tomorrow is not promised to any of us. The present is all we have in which to love and to serve the Lord. So, prepare well today. We prepare by loving Jesus in our fellow human beings, when we serve Him by caring for one another, and most especially, for "the least of these": the homeless, the lonely, the poor, the refugee, the prisoner, and the often overlooked and forgotten among us. In them, we encounter Him Who is our Emmanuel (the God Who is WITH us!), not only, although, certainly, in Word (scripture), and in the Eucharist, when He comes to us under the appearance of Bread and Wine. In all these ways, the Word-made-Flesh (the God-Man, Whose Birth we celebrate again this Christmas), reveals to us just Who God is, and as we love and serve Him in one another.

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