For many of us, we experience winter as difficult, dark, cold and just too long! For us older people in the crowd, remember when winter was fun and the first snow fall was just what the doctor ordered. Even shoveling off the pond in order to skate was exciting. For the young people in church today, enjoy it now because the excitement will wear off in the future. Most of us, will look forward to the time, when the earth turns and the days will start to get a little longer by a few minutes a day! I don’t know how the Alaskans do it but more power to them!
In our advent of watching and waiting, and in our coming Christmas joy, we celebrate the true light that conquers the darkness, the one who lights our path, who causes the light of faith to grow within our hearts. We know that Jesus, the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. He promises that He will come again.
The Advent season celebrates what we profess during the Mass throughout the year, in the Mystery of Faith just after the Consecration, when we say: We proclaim your death, Oh Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again! Again when we profess our faith with the Nicene Creed, it states that Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. We prepare for Christmas but more importantly we prepare for his coming at the end of time.
St. John is the last of the Old Testament prophets and he also stands with one foot in the New Testament ushering in the time of Jesus on earth. The Old Testament was the first age as the prophets guided God’s people in their faith journey. St. John the Baptist ushers in the age of the Gospels, the age of Jesus our savior with us. The third age is now. It is the age of the Church, the Body of Christ. It is the age of you and I as we continue the mission of Jesus. We are called to bring the Good News into the world and make Jesus more present to others by our lives. St. Paul praises the good work that has been done by us the community of faith and he is confident that God will provide every grace needed to bring all our good work to completion.
There is a danger that we face not only at this time of year but in the long run of our lives. This danger is that we will become distracted or even more dangerous that we will give up in our faith walk. G.K. Chesterton, an English writer, poet and philosopher commented on humanity’s slow drifting away from God, when that happens, he wrote, we find nothing but cures that don’t cure, blessings that don’t bless and solutions that do not solve. Advent is a time of remembrance that there is more to life than consumerism, materialism and selfish concern. Advent is a time to acknowledge God’s presence among us as we await the perfect fulfillment of His plan for the world and for each one of us. Christ has died, He is risen and He will come again. Come Lord Jesus!