When going to your regular work, to competitive sports, to travel or even the lightest of tasks, there’s no substitute for preparation. Elite athletes start practicing earlier and finish much later than their ordinary teammates and competitors. Top students actually spend more time studying than other learners. When one doesn’t make any preparation, one is bound to come up short or even fail entirely. Regardless of what he is doing, thorough preparation is the hallmark of a successful and happy person.
Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the season to prepare for the coming of the Savior. In the Gospel reading (Mt. 24: 37-44) Jesus said that just like in the olden times, people will be
“… eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.”
People will continue indulging in life’s pleasures excessively without regard for the poverty around. The Lord used a very appropriate example of shameless indulgence among the people during the time of Noah. So that others won’t repeat this mistake, He advised everyone,
“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”
For the “unbeliever”, there’s no need to prepare something this Advent. There’s no reason and no motivation to look into his soul’s readiness for the coming of Christ into the world. Thus, there’s really nothing to do anything about. He will party lavishly, prepare food wastefully, and indulge in activities while proceeding without conscience for the poor in society.
On the other hand, the “spiritual” person prepares himself thoroughly in order to have his heart pure and ready to receive the Child Jesus. He goes to confession, do works of mercy, and shares his treasures with the least, the last and the lost. For him, it is very important to be ready to receive God. He also makes sure that others see Jesus in him, because it is only in doing so that Jesus will be truly alive to others.
What about you? Are you the “unbeliever” or the “spiritual” person?
Today let us start our preparation for the coming of the Savior Jesus Christ. Let us find time to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, do works of mercy, do fasting, and share your treasures with the least, the last and the lost. One good thing that you can do this Christmas in case you haven’t made up your mind yet is to sponsor a poor child in Fr. Armand Robleza’s Your Kids My Kids Foundation — for supplemental feeding of severely malnourished children. (For details see the website: www.yourkidsmykids.org). You’ll surely be happy lighting up a child’s tummy for the next several months. And others will see Jesus in you!
“Show us Lord, your love; and grant us your salvation.” (Ps. 85: 8)