Today is the first Sunday of Advent-a time to prepare for the coming of the Lord whom we portray as a precious infant in a simple manger at the end of this season. But while we celebrate His coming in the incarnation 2021 years ago, there are two more arrivals of our Lord to contemplate during this season of preparation which are often overlooked. One day Jesus will come again in glory as the world ends and He delivers His final judgment and hands over the world to the Father. He gives us a glimpse of this to his disciples in today’s Gospel. But let us also consider His third appearance to each of us, personally, into our hearts and into our lives as we embrace him as his disciples did.
Often this special time is seen as a time for decorating our homes, buying Christmas presents, baking, preparing food, and having parties. The Gospel is a frightening one. “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).” Have I given food to my hungry brothers and sisters, or provided for them in their need or cared for them when they’re sick or visited them?
Perhaps the secret to preparing for the Lord’s coming at Christmas, at the Last Judgment, or fully into our hearts is to act as if the Lord is already here. After all, He is. Do we see the Lord in our sisters and brothers in need? How easily do we focus our love solely on our own loved ones, or worse, just on ourselves? Advent is a season of joy-filled hope and preparation to celebrate the fact that our Lord has come, coming again daily in every person, place, and event of our lives and will come again in glory. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Love, Peace, Joy