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They say that life goes faster as you age. I agree. It doesn’t seem that long ago to me that we began Advent of last year. Yet, here we are again.
The new liturgical calendar of the Church begins with this First Sunday of Advent. Once again, the Church is reminding us that we are preparing to celebrate the first coming of Jesus at Christmas, while also preparing ourselves to receive Jesus as his promised second coming at the end of time (and at the end of our earthly lives).
Today’s Gospel is from Saint Luke. Jesus said that the heavens will be shaken, and people will die of fright for what is about to come upon the world. Still, as others may fear this end to all time without knowing what to do about it, we should be getting ourselves ready for it. Jesus said, “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
Still, we must be careful. We will be judged by our actions, actions that must flow from our faith. Jesus also said, “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. 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.”
Of course, this is scary, apocalyptic stuff. It should wake us up to prepare the way of the Lord.
And that is the point of Advent, after all — to not just to remember a past event of the birth of Jesus one day each year. It should make us call out to the Lord to come again soon and find us awake and ready to receive him. May we use the time we have on this earth to clear our consciences, reform our lives, and draw nearer to God, who is always drawing nearer to us, it seems to me, faster year after year.
Have a blessed week everyone.