Look Out: Here Comes Advent

One of my friends posted as his Facebook status on Wednesday, “I heard someone say today that in five days, it will be Advent. Is there anyone out there who can explain to me how that happened?” Indeed, somehow the days have melted away and here we are on this First Sunday in Advent, the beginning of my favorite liturgical season.

Like Lent, Advent is considered a time of preparation. The word Advent comes rom the Latin “Adventus,” which means “coming.” So we are preparing for a coming – the coming of Christ.

We tend to think of that in terms of our celebration at Christmas of the Incarnation of Christ. God’s becoming human is foundationally important to us – it means everything to us that God became human. But in thinking about what it means to celebrate the Incarnation, it is good to remember that the coming we are waiting for is more than the anniversary of a historical event. The Catholic Encyclopedia reminds us that the coming is broader than that, speaking of our need in Advent to prepare orselves

worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
thus to make our souls fitting abodes for Jesus’ coming in the Eucharist and through grace
thereby making ourselves ready for his final coming at death and at the end of the world.

It is vitally important to our task as disciples to keep foremost in our minds that Advent is not simply a reenactment of the past, as beautiful as our Christmas pagents and crèches are. We are not just remembering these nice things in our faith history that happened a long time ago because it gives us a warm feeling.

Rather, if we are Christian disciples, we are called to play active parts now in birthing Christ into the world; we each have a role in giving reality to the rule of Emmanuel. So this season is about making ourselves ready to more fully give birth to Christ. Meister Eckhart once wrote:

We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son is I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us.

Our invitation of Advent is to prepare ourselves more fully to engage in this task to which we have been appointed. What will be your response to that invitation?


2 thoughts on “Look Out: Here Comes Advent

  1. Pingback: Pie and Coffee » First Sunday of Advent, 2011: And with your spirit, mumble mumble

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