Back when we were still in school whenever this season comes, my parents would prepare everything at home for their children coming back for the break. They would prepare our rooms, clear the home to give way for Christmas decorations and those thoughts would give us the joy in anticipation of the celebration. Those were one of the best memories of family that we love to recall. Today, we like to replicate those moments with our own respective families, ensuring tradition is passed on to the next generation. This is indeed one of the most wonderful times of the year.
Today, the sights and sounds of Christmas are getting brighter and louder. It’s the second day of December and also the start of the Church’s Liturgical Year. During these Sundays of Advent, we are invited to meditate on the mysteries of waiting in joyful and hopeful anticipation. It is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord.
In our waiting for the Second Coming of Christ, the Gospel tells us (Lk. 21: 25-28, 34-36) that there will be chaos, death and fear. The Son of Man will come with power and great glory. Yet the Lord also gave us hope and encouragement so that “when these things happen, we stand erect and raise our heads because redemption is at hand”.
We are cautioned about becoming drowsy from excessive drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, lest that day may catch us by surprise. That day will affect everyone who lives, thus the need to be vigilant at all times. The Lord encourages us to pray that we have the “strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and the courage to stand before the Son of Man.”
This is what makes Advent so special. Jesus love makes Him come to us. Thus, preparing ourselves is something we have to do this season. Let us take the opportunity to create a new beginning, a new chapter in our life journey. Let us tear down those walls of indifference and begin to reach out to family members, neighbors and others who in one way or the other have drifted away from us. If we haven’t done yet, let us bring ourselves back closer to Jesus by going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to bring our hearts worthy of becoming His home again. In doing so, we renew our relationship with God so that we experience the depth of His love where we’ll be touched, healed and transformed.
When we open our hearts to allow His grace to do these to us, we allow Him to bring His love into the world.
Let us pray that we find strength and consolation in Christ’s words and in His redeeming presence with us to endure all our trials and to witness His love to the world.
‘Show us, Lord, your love; and grant us your salvation.’ (Ps. 85: 8)