I used to think that Advent was a time to prepare solely to celebrate the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. ADVENT IS A TIME TO PREPARE FOR SO MUCH MORE THAN THIS! I heard Advent explained once as a time to remember, prepare, and celebrate Christ coming in history, majesty, and mystery. What do each of these mean? Let’s take a look at each…
Christ Coming In History – Christ coming in history refers to the birth of Jesus by his mother Mary in a small stable over 2000 years ago. God fully revealed who He was, became man, and sent us a savior so that we could know and be closer to him through this event. During Advent, we prepare to celebrate the amazing gift God gave us in the birth of His son, Jesus.
Christ Coming In Majesty – Christ coming in majesty refers to the second coming of Christ in glory at the end of time. If you can recall the Gospel readings from the last few weekends, they have all focused on the end. Father John has spoken about how these readings can be uncomfortable or even scary for us; all of us like to think that we still have time to work on being better people and can approach God on our own time. But, what if we do not have this time? As my brother recently told me and my family (we think he is practicing for his homilies in the future!), “The Lord calls us whenever He wants, and it is our duty, as faithful followers, to be prepared every second of our life.” During Advent, we are asked to be prepared for Christ to come again whether it is tomorrow, years down the road, or even today. Are you prepared?
Christ Coming In Mystery – Finally, Christ coming in mystery refers to the coming of Christ into our lives today! Christ is present in the world around us in so many ways. Are we taking the time to recognize Him and to let Him be a part of our lives? This Advent is a time for us to be quiet, rest, pray, and make Christ a large part of our lives. Society certainly tells us to do the exact opposite – focus on the material goods in our lives and buy buy buy! I have never really thought about the weeks before Christmas as quiet, restful, and prayerful, but this is what Advent calls us to accomplish. And, of course, the best way we can welcome Christ in our lives today is through intentional participation in the beautiful celebration of the Eucharist. Maybe this Advent we can reflect on just one way we don’t let Christ be a part of our lives, and work on inviting Him in.
So, this Advent, it is good to remember that we are preparing not just to celebrate the historical event of Jesus’ birth, but to be ready for Christ to come again and to welcome Christ fully into our lives today.
Last week, I posted a short video on Advent as well as an Advent calendar. If you have not looked at these yet, please do! The calendar is a lot of fun and will really help you focus on the Advent season this year. Another way you can prepare during Advent is by setting up a few items in your home, such as an Advent wreath, a tree, or a manger scene. Teens, if your family has one already, maybe think about setting up your own in your room. You can easily make your own Advent wreath out of construction paper, or glass jars and wax. Blessings for each of these items that you could do with your family can be found on the USCCB website!