Sunday, November 27, 2016
“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:42
Advent begins with a call to vigilance as reflected in the passage above. There are numerous Scripture passages that call us to this vigilance and anticipation of the Lord’s coming; these are only a few. Being vigilant means, also, that we are prepared. We are not caught off guard. Imagine if Christmas morning came and you woke up suddenly realizing that you forgot to prepare! Imagine if you had no gifts, no food purchased and no plans were made. Of course you wouldn’t allow that to happen, but we do sometimes allow it to happen spiritually speaking. We often are not prepared to celebrate the birth of Christ within our hearts.
The first week of Advent also offers the focus of the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus will return again, in all splendor and glory, to judge the living and the dead. We profess that fact every Sunday in our Creed. So, even though Advent is a time for the preparation of the celebration of the first coming of Jesus in the flesh, it is also a time to acknowledge that His first coming is ultimately fulfilled in His final glorious coming.
As Advent begins, reflect upon how ready you are for Jesus’ coming. Are you preparing for it with the same fervor that you prepare for Christmas through shopping, cooking, decorating, etc? Are you looking forward to that day when He will return? Are you preparing for the spiritual celebration of His birth? Are you awake and attentive to the numerous ways that God speaks to you on a daily basis?
If you find that you are not as prepared for His return in glory as you’d like to be, make this Advent a time when you get your heart ready. Commit to prayer, spiritual exercises, reflection and attentiveness to His gentle and glorious voice.
Lord, as Advent begins, help me to put my eyes on You. Help me to open my ears to Your voice. And help me to open my heart to Your glorious presence. May I be attentive to You in every way You desire to come to me. Jesus, I trust in You.
See also: Daily Reflection on Divine Mercy
My hidden Lord Jesus, I love You and thank You with profound gratitude for uniting Yourself with fallen humanity. When You first entered into this world, You remained hidden for nine months in the immaculate womb of Your Blessed Mother. She carried You, body and blood, soul and divinity, within the sanctuary of her body. She also carried You within her heart as a result of her perfect love for You and her perfect obedience to the will of the Father. Precious Lord, as I embrace this Advent Season, please open my eyes to see the great value and blessing of Your Incarnation. Help me to discover Your hidden presence in this world and within my own soul. I desire to see, understand and experience the profound effects that Your Incarnation has on my life and I desire to receive those effects more fully this Advent. May I become a sanctuary in which You dwell so that I, like Your dear Mother, may bring Your presence into the world. My loving Jesus, I choose You, this Advent, as my King and my God. I abandon myself to You and seek to put all my trust in Your tender care. Draw me close to You and free me from my sin so that I may love You with a pure and holy heart. Mother Mary, as You carried your dear Son in your immaculate womb, you also carried Him in your heart. Pray for me, this Advent, that I may surrender myself to the will of the Father in imitation of you. You said “Yes” to all that God asked of you and never hesitated to fully embrace His divine will. Pray that I may imitate your perfect example so as to share a deeper union with you and your divine Son. Come, Lord Jesus,Come, Lord Jesus,Come, Lord Jesus!Amen.