Happy New Year
Happy New Year to you all! It is not the 1st of January! It is worth mentioning that we are turning the page today into a New Liturgical Year of the Church: Year B. This begins with the Season of Advent: A time of Preparation extending over four Sundays before Christmas. The word ADVENT comes from the latin ad venio “to come to” and adventus, “coming” or “arrival”. We are anticipating the Adventus Domini, the “coming of the Lord”.
The Advent season is filled with preparation and expectation and the getting ready for Christmas. It is a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and home, meditating on the incredible love and humanity of our God in taking on flesh of the Virgin Mary. We will read most often during this season the prophesies of Isaiah. The readings will be focused on key figures of the Old and the New Testament who were prepared and chosen by God to make the incarnation possible.
This decorum of preparation is planted in the readings of today. Isaiah expresses our intense desire as we wait for the Lord. “O that you would tear the heavens open and come down”. (Is 64:1). The Son of Man will be coming to judge the living and the death. We do not know when he will come. The secret is known only to God. No one knows about that date, day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Mt 24:26).
Today’s Gospel taken from the end of Mark’s apocalyptic discourse in chapter 13 encourages us to adopt the attitude of staying “awake” and being on “guard”. This entails an attitude of perpetual vigilance and being constantly on the watch. Death is no respecter of men and it is always ready to take us at any time. On the radio and other news media we keep on hearing of Death Announcements. This means that we must be ready at all times to meet the lord at our death and also every day in our lives.
The second coming of Christ is eminent! After ascending into heaven, while the disciples were still gazing into the sky, they were told “O men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus who had been taken up into heaven will come in the same way (Acts 1:10-11).
The Church has given us this time to ready our hearts for our Lord, making sure that we do not lack any spiritual gift as we wait for the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:7). We must ponder the words of Saint Charles Borromeo on Advent: “Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us. This holy season teaches us that Christ’s coming was not only for the benefit of his contemporaries, his power has still to be communicated to us all….The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in Flesh, is prepared to come again. When we all remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace”.
MARANATHA! Come Lord Jesus into my Life!
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang, cmf
Please pray for me