People often say that the Philippines celebrates the longest Christmas Season in the whole world. From as early as September and stretching even up to the last week of January, shopping malls and stores put up their decorations and accessories too early — and even while the Christmas Season is still a long time away.
However, the Gospel passage is very appropriate at this time when the Church starts the Advent Season, in the preparation for the great feast of Christ’s birth. The decorations and as well as the events everywhere are just fleeting and temporary, compared to the mystery of the Blessed Mother’s virgin birth. Our Lord Jesus came so that we might have Eternal Life!
His coming this Season is a reminder for us to ‘be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.’ (Mt. 24: 44) Yes, our death is linked with the coming of the Savior, for it is in our faithfulness to Him that we also gain Eternal Life. We have to realize and bear in mind that death can be unexpected. We should not fear that scenario though for as long as we nurture and care for our relationship with God. As long as one’s relationship with Jesus is secure and grows into maturity and fullness, one will accept death with the confidence of knowing that eventually he will meet Jesus our Lord and Savior.
This Advent Season, let this attitude of standing vigilant and ready for God provide us a template for our spiritual preparation. In this quest, unlike the temporal preparations of the world at large; there is never a ‘too early’ situation. We need to be awake and prayerful as we wait in earnest for His coming. Advent therefore should be our lifelong anticipation of His coming, and as well as a preparation for our own final journey to Heaven.
‘Show us Lord, your love; and grant us your salvation.’ (Ps. 85: 8)