Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Christian life is like a permanent Advent. It is all about keeping vigil and being watchful for the Lord. He will come like a thief in the night says the gospel (Mt. 24: 37-44). This aspect of waiting, of expectation is fundamental for us, for all Christians. The last word of the Bible says: Come, Lord Jesus, Come! In the early Church people thought that he could come any day and some even stopped working. Today we don’t give a thought about the Second Coming, or even about our death.
The saints said Christ comes three times: two thousand years ago, then, at the end of time, and lastly, when he is announced and preached. He wants to come today into your heart. He wants to be with you and me; he wants to live in us.
The Book of Isaiah is terrific for this season and for Christmas and it is worthwhile reading it. Its vision for us is really fantastic. Isaiah says the Lord’s house shall be like the highest mountain, high above all else. Is that really true for us? Is the Lord the highest mountain for me? Does he have the highest priority in our lives, or are there competing ones? Be honest and sincere with your life and look a bit deeper.
Isaiah goes on to say that all the nations will stream toward this mountain. Applying it to ourselves do all aspects of my life go in this direction? Do all our physical, emotional and psychological aspects desire to reach this mountain? It might help us to see that there are the competing mountains. It could be health or money or the job or something as simple as my plans. These are the mountains that crowd out God’s mountain. God does not want to be just one of many mountains. We give him some attention on Sunday and then we go in other directions during the week. Hopefully, we might start to see some work is needed; some things need to be changed.
When Christ is not the center we are at war with ourselves. Often we are a jumble of conflicts that has no real direction other than making money or being comfortable. Put on Christ says St. Paul to the Romans. Speak to him often. Talk about him with your family or a close fried. Have the desire to wait for Christ to come to you today in the Mass. It may seem that there is a “delay” in Christ’s coming. But could it be that we are not ready, that we need more time to convert, to turn to him and repent of our sins.
It is striking image that Jesus uses in the gospel: one will be taken and one will be left. Maybe the two men or the two women look alike exteriorly, but maybe one is not holy in the eyes of God, maybe one’s interior dispositions are totally different from the other. We cannot tell from the outside, but God knows us better than we know ourselves.
Let us use well this time of Advent. He is the Coming One and he wants to be within us so we need to be ready and waiting!