We are two weeks out from the end of the liturgical year. The new liturgical year, C, begins with Advent, November 29, 2015. As the year closes and the new year begins we are brought to reflect upon the coming of Jesus. In Advent we await His first coming, His birth into the world; today we await His second coming to restore the Kingdom of God and re-creating the heavens and earth.
For us, the faithful, we await the coming of Jesus with the absolute faith that God fulfills all His promises. God promised us a redeemer, a savior, a messiah and described to us the circumstances into which this redeemer would be born. Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise. When Jesus was among us in human flesh he described the circumstances that would come to pass just before his return to us for the final judgment. Jesus himself does not know the appointed time of his return only God knows the hour and the day. Therefore it is our duty to be prepared for the return of Christ Jesus as if it is imminent at any hour of any day.
When we plan a party we send out invitations that have an appointed time for our guests to arrive. Likewise, when we receive an invitation we are instructed to arrive at an appointed time. The host(ess), therefore, is well informed as to the arrival of the anticipated guests. They have time to clean the house, prepare the food, decorate, etc. Everything is perfect when the guests arrive. As guests we arrive in a timely fashion, wearing suitable attire and sporting our best social graces.
Preparing for the 2nd coming of Jesus is exactly like that EXCEPT we do not know the hour or the day and therefore we must have a clean house, clean clothes and food ready to prepare whenever He arrives! We must be ready for the “party” to begin at any moment! But we will not prepare as if we will be having a party, we will be preparing our souls for the arrival of Jesus. It is not good enough to say, “I know I wasn’t or haven’t been a good Christian, a disciple of Jesus, but I will work on that and become a better Christian this year." What if he shows up today, or tomorrow or next month?
Based on the signs that Jesus set before us we will need to have our faith at full strength to endure until he arrives. I liken this to the parable about preparing for a thief in the night. You don’t know a thief is coming to take all of your worldly belongings, but you know that a thief can come at any time and so what do you do? You lock the doors, you lock the windows, you set security systems, you have motion sensitive lights outside your home. All of these precautions are in place and a thief may never, in fact in all likelihood will never, come to your home but you would never dream of lapsing on your security, just in case. The same holds true for fire insurance for your home, flood insurance, etc. You “insure” yourself against a possibility of some cataclysmic event occurring at any time, or not at all.
Why, then, is it so difficult for us to be prepared for the return of Jesus, at any moment, on any day? The answer is simple. We actually witness people’s home burn, get burglarized, etc. Every day. But we do not witness the return of Jesus every day. It is a matter of faith, based on experience, that assures us that someone’s home will burn or be burglarized but it is entirely possible that NO ONE’S home will burn or be burglarized, isn’t it? Why don’t we have the same amount of faith that it will not happen? It’s the repeated experience that dictates our belief one way or the other on the side that produced the most outcomes.
It SHOULD be a matter of faith, based on experience, that Jesus will come again. That’s the key; faith. God has never broken his promise, but we hesitate to believe Him because we fail to see God’s work in all of our life and our world at all times and so we adopt a faith that he is not there with us at this time but he was once. It is not God that left, but we who left God. It is not God that needs a church for worship, it is we who need a place and an appointed time to grant one hour of our week to the worship of God. God is ever present at all times and all places.
If Jesus Christ is not your friend, your brother, your LORD, and if you do not pray throughout the day to him as you would chat with a friend throughout the day, then you need to work on that relationship. You will quickly learn that Jesus is with you ALWAYS and your faith will change. You will spruce up that house and fill the pantry of your spirit in the joyful anticipation of His arrival at any time. And if you leave this earth before he arrives Jesus will be prepared to receive you into his home at whatever time you arrive!
Our Psalm this week is Psalm 16: You Are My Inheritance, O Lord Here are the links, to the MUSIC and the LEAD SHEET
Begin now to ready yourself for Advent! It is just around the corner! You should learn about the Advent Wreath and perhaps get everything ready for the first Sunday of Advent to use your wreath, as a family, during Advent! The CLOTW site has links to seasonal celebrations, including Advent, and you can “Google” for information about the Catholic celebration of Advent, Catholic uses of the Advent Wreath, which would give you prayers, and the meaning of the parts of the wreath, etc. We look forward to the Advent season in our home and lighting the wreath every evening before dinner! We sing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and recite the prayers and light the candle, or candles for that week. It really puts the “CHRIST” back into CHRISTmas!
God bless you and keep you!