Time moves quickly! Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now the focus is on Christmas; shopping, decorating, sending cards, parties.
It is all good – but the church also urges us to prepare our souls, our hearts for Christmas – after all – Christmas means Mass of Christ, and Jesus is the reason for the season!
That’s why the church insists upon the season of Advent – Latin word – Adventus – Coming – the coming of Christ.
Most believe that he did come – in history – in Bethlehem – born of Mary. But what makes Bethlehem so important is what happened in Jerusalem.
Most again agree that he was put to death by Pontius Pilate - but then what? The Bible records 11 different appearances by the Risen Christ – once to 500 people. They began to realize that what happened in Bethlehem was no ordinary birth – but the coming of the Son of God. The Word became flesh – God became one of us – which changes everything!
If he is Risen, he is still with us. So, we believe that Jesus comes to us even today, in Mystery.
1) When the Bible is read, we say: The Word of the Lord or The Gospel of the Lord. God is still speaking to us – why the Bible is read to us every time we gather!
2) When Sacraments are celebrated – Jesus is at work: Baptism – new life, Reconciliation – forgiveness, Confirmation – sending Spirit, Anointing – healing. Center is the Eucharist – Bread and Wine become his very Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
3) When two or three gathers in his name
4) In the poor – whatever you did, you did for me.
He will come again in glory -in Majesty – when – we do not know – we wait in joyful expectation – so we get ready.
Many paintings with Saints show a skull – the idea is – remember that life is short – live in the light of God. We call this “sub specie aeternitatis” View everything under the aspect of eternity – is this action going to get me into heaven or increase darkness in my life or the life of others. How will this appear on the day of judgment? Very good to go to confession every now and then – to keep sin in check.
So – 3 comings – History – Mystery – Majesty. Advent keeps us focused on the true meaning of Christmas – to prepare the way of the Lord!