Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Each liturgical year we set aside four Sundays before Christmas as a time of preparation for the birth of Jesus. This feast of remembrance is significant because it reminds us that Jesus became one of us and experienced all the human feelings we experience. Pain and joy, love and derision. It is up to each of us to decide how we will prepare for Christmas, how to welcome Jesus into our hearts and minds in a special way once again. Will it only be a time shopping for gifts? Will we only prepare for visitors for Christmas dinner? Will we set aside some time each day to pray, reflect and perform certain actions that show our love for God and others?
The readings for this Sunday also remind us that there will be another coming of Jesus at the end time. We know neither the day nor the time of the second coming but we are called to be ready. There will be no signs, no warnings. This reminds me of my own death. I know neither the day nor the time but I am called to be ready. That’s a daunting task. It means living each day as if it’s my last! You are called to the same reality. Advent is a good time to reflect on our mortality.
How will you use Advent as a time of growing closer to God, especially in welcoming Jesus in the Incarnation?
How will you be ready to face God on the day of your death?