We've gotten through Thanksgiving (hopefully with true gratitude), and we've eased our way into the Advent season - which, regrettably, never seems quite long enough... But where and how do we find ourselves 11 days into this time of anticipation and preparation? Today's scripture readings recognize and confront us with our all-too-often states of weariness, anxiety, fear, restlessness, weakness, and sinfulness. But our scriptures also remind us in a quite pointed way that, in times of struggle, trial, and challenge, we are never alone in whatever state of being we experience and 'find' ourselves! No, our God is a God of presence, of empowerment and healing, of forgiveness, and restoration. This compels us, I believe to ask some questions: where in my life do I need healing, or empowerment, or hope? Who is it, or what is it, that I am preparing to welcome and receive as Advent leads me into the incarnational event of Christmas? And if a Savior is to be born for us, what in me needs the salvation God brings me in the gift of His only Son? Simply put, but of critical import, is the question:
What am I waiting for? Today's scriptures are nothing less than a powerful declaration of who God is, of how God is for us, and of what God desires for His beloved daughters and sons.
"Do you not know? Have you not heard?"
What am I truly waiting for? What is getting in the way of that? What needs to be different, or needs to change, if I am to enter more fully into God's offer of peace, rest, and wholeness in my life? How you and I will benefit from the 14 days ahead surely depends upon the desire we have to welcome the Christ-child, Emmanuel, God-with us, and all that He offers to us. We know with great familiarity all the traps and pitfalls that are ahead - if we allow them to take hold.
So let us pray for the gifts of God's grace and wisdom, and for the intercession of St. Juan Diego, that we may more fully use well these remaining days of our Advent season to welcome the Prince of Peace, and to live lives such that our souls will "truly bless the Lord who pardons all our iniquities, who heals all our ills, who redeems our lives, and crowns us with kindness and compassion."
Rev. Kevin Mullins, OSA,
Villanova University - Board of Trustees
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent