Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent and the Joy of Jesus' Coming



Advent is one of my favorite seasons.  It might just be that we've been in "Ordinary Time" for so long that I'm ready for a change from green vestments to purple.  But it's also a time of anticipation and preparation.

Preparation...a little like formation to become a religious sister, really.  I'm being "formed" or prepared to (eventually) take vows, to devote my entire being to Jesus Christ and God's work.  Quite a big task.

But back to Advent. We all know that it's about getting ready for Jesus, but it's more than that.  Traditionally, and we see this in the readings, Advent is also about preparing for the final judgment and the coming of Christ at the end of all time.  There's a third element to the preparation:  opening our hearts to receive Jesus each and every day. 

This is another of those great Christian paradoxes--that we are preparing to receive Jesus, and yet we know that Jesus is already with us.  So what is the preparation about?

For me, it's about remembering.  Recalling how much God loves us, that God would become human, to be with us, to know what it really means to be human.  To experience our own humanity and all the challenges, sorrows, and joys that come with being human. 

God loves us beyond our capacity to understand.  That alone is good enough reason to spend time in preparation to receive Jesus.

Image: http://www.liturgies.net/saints/mary/annunciation/annunciation.htm

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