Advent began with the Vigil Mass on Saturday Nov. 28th
and continues until the Mass of Christmas on December 24th. Advent means
“coming.” In this four week season we prepare for the coming of Jesus. First,
we hear about his second coming at the end of time. The readings also help us
to receive his coming each day. Lastly, we prepare to receive Christ at
Christmas. This penitential season (purple) of prayer, waiting and repentance
is a facsimile of our entire journey. We live in such a way as to prepare to
meet God when we die. We must be ready. We will all stand before God.
Preparation is a major purpose of our pilgrimage here on
earth. I never step forward to preach without solid preparation. I don’t go before
the cameras unless I have my scripts prepared. When I went to school, I
prepared for exams. Athletes prepare for their season competition. In fact,
champions are made in the off season. Our challenges and preparations make us
champions and victors also.
We hear the greatest of all prophets, John the Baptist
preparing the way for the Messiah. A voice in the desert: Prepare the way of
the Lord! How does he prepare people? By the baptism of repentance. By
making us focus on our God in the midst of all the distractions and attractions
of life. We must make room in our heart for Christ. Most prepare for
Christmas by purchasing gifts, putting up trees and lights and buying tickets
to travel. But our real preparation must be spiritual. Is there anything standing
in the way of your relationship with Jesus right now? What must you do to
prepare him room? I’m hoping this will be the most spiritual Advent you have
Advent is also a season of extravagant promises and pulsating
Hope. The four candles in the wreath represent hope, peace, joy (pink) and
love. We hear about the astounding promises of God and the abundant blessings
to come. We are invited to confidently expect gracious blessings and to be calmly
patient as we wait. God is a promise keeper and all of his words will be proved
true. God wants us to trust him and wait well. Patience stretches us and grows
us. Waiting develops our maturity.
During this time of the Pandemic and Presidential transition
many are upset, worried and frustrated. The days are shorter and the
temperature chills. Now is the time to relax, read, and allow silence to be
medicine for our souls. God is inviting you and me to more. The blessings may
not be instantaneous but will be eventual if we endure. Tom Petty sang, “The
waiting is the hardest part.” Waiting is hard, but yields many blessings. The
farmer who sows the seeds knows they take time to gestate and come to harvest. Don’t
let your heart be troubled. Be at peace and wait well. Jesus is near. His
promises will all come true. In God’s timing, we will be the recipients of God’s
promises and hope realized. Blessed Advent 2020!
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P.