Well, we’ve journeyed together in faith for another year. Time seems to be going so fast. I guess that is good because it means we are busy. It is good to be busy with the work of building God’s kingdom.
With the “new” church year, we enter the season of Advent. Advent is a time of joyful expectation and preparation. Similar to our feelings and work in preparing for Christmas, but decidedly different too. The similarities are in that we are thinking of others, preparing for a celebration, anticipating what is needing to be done between now and then. The differences are that we are preparing for the coming of Christ.
Many would say, “But Christ already came, 2000 years ago.” And that is true, but we can also speak of the coming of Christ in two more ways. First, is the coming into our heart, our home, our community and into our world. In our Catholic tradition, we speak of the “presence” of Christ that is very real. The other coming is the “second coming” which refers to the end of the world, either when we die or when creation itself comes to an end. This second coming emphasizes the need to be ready, while the first the need to open our heart for Christ by welcoming Him in our brother and sister.
This really brings us full circle. As we prepare for Christmas, let’s anticipate the visit of Christ through the people with whom we will gather. These people include our visitors, the merchants, the crowds in the mall and parking lots and all the other persons we will meet and have the opportunity to welcome as Christ. In doing so, we help them to experience His presence too.