It’s hard to believe that another liturgical year begins next weekend—the First Sunday of Advent!
Advent is a time of commemoration, anticipation and preparation. We recall the Birth of Jesus Christ while the Church reminds us that Christ will come again. When? This has been an unanswered question for the last two thousand years.
Hopefully, we as Christians have not become too complacent or even indifferent towards this teaching of our faith. What if Jesus did return in glory to judge the living and the dead tomorrow, next week or next month?
I guess some people would panic: “When was the last time I was in Church?” “I haven’t been to confession in years!” “My life is not really in order right now!” “I never did forgive my dad!” “I haven’t spoken to my sister for decades!” “I’ve been preoccupied with so many things and never take the time to pray!” “I really do not know Jesus Christ.”
Jesus warns us: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” (Mark 13:33) We are told by St. Paul that the day of the Lord “will come like a thief at night. “ (1 Thessalonians 5:2)
I do not want people to become fanatical like those who run around with signs claiming that the end of the world is near. However, as Christians we need to live continually in the presence of the Lord. Christ is always aware of us and is, in fact, there for us at all times, whether we realize it or not. Unfortunately, as humans we do not consciously focus on His presence in our lives at every moment, nor do we always live appropriately, even if we believe He is there.
Advent is here. Don’t waste the time by getting caught up in all of the materialism that the world is concerned about and sells relentlessly. Take time for your spiritual life. As humans, comprised of body and soul, we require both physical and spiritual nourishment. It seems almost rediculous to remind Christins to make time for Jesus Christ. Keep Christ in Christmas?
Personally, I find that when my spiritual priorities are in order and Christ is forefront in my life, everything else mysteriously seems to fall into place. I may have to learn this lesson over and over again, but someday I may finally get it right. One can only hope!
Fr. Ed Namiotka