First Sunday of Advent
Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2, &
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
I suspect that most of us have become accustomed to waiting. Waiting, whether we realize it or not, is an everyday part of our lives. Have you ever met someone who said they do not mind waiting in line at their supermarket, doctor's office, or service station? If you have, please have them contact me – I have many questions to ask them. My favorite is when the product I ordered will be delivered to my home between noon and 6 PM. Today, the First Sunday of Advent begins for us a different type of waiting.
In our first reading, God tells Jeremiah, "I will fulfill the promise I made." Then, Saint Paul addresses the Thessalonians, "Strengthen your hearts…at the coming of Our Lord Jesus." I am comforted by these directives because I know God understands my tendency to distract myself when I struggle with waiting. However, I know I am in God's hands.
Advent is a time of waiting, or a period traditionally defined as "preparation." It is quite normal for us to begin to plan menus, shop for gifts, write and address our cards, and so on, since these are the usual ways to prepare for Christmas. However, one crucial part is left out of most plans.
In the Gospel narrative of Saint Luke, Jesus tells His disciples, "Be vigilant…pray that you have strength." Advent is a wonderful opportunity to consider what is inside us and a perfect time to reflect on the reason for our waiting. As we prepare and await the arrival of Jesus— the arrival of Love, in our hearts, we are anticipating the day the world changes forever.
During this wondrous season, take a few minutes every day to sit quietly to pray. Speak to the Lord about your day, especially the unresolved issues that occupy your mind. Allow the cares and distracting thoughts to come and go, and notice how you feel when you are alone with God. Offer up every feeling you are experiencing. Finally, concentrate on any movement, any emotion, any voice coming from within. It might not happen immediately, but it will happen. This Advent, God invites us into the most pleasant "waiting" we will ever experience.
Question of the Day: How will you prepare for the coming of Jesus, our Savior?
Prayer: "Show us, Lord, your love; and grant us your salvation." Alleluia, alleluia.