Anticipation, expectation, hope… all feeling and emotions of this season! The Church calls us to contemplate and meditate on the first and second Coming of Christ. The first part of Advent emphasized the 2nd Coming, when God’s Reign of peace, justice and love would bring all peoples together for eternity. The 1st Coming of Jesus is emphasized in the second part of Advent, when God broke into our human history and became one like us in all things but sin. The Incarnation/Christmas event gave new meaning to our humanity and invites us into the divinity of the Trinity through Jesus, our brother.
Today’s readings certainly focus on the immediacy of the Christmas event. The first reading today from Malachy prepares us for John the Baptist in his precursor, Elijah. Elijah like John was to reconcile the people to one another in anticipation of the great opportunity to celebrate the beginning of God’s Reign in history.
The Gospel today gives us a specific situation, the naming of John after his father, Zacharia, did not at first cooperate with the divine plan and after pondering his call to participate in the salvation process finally got it!
Zacharia is not unlike ourselves. We hear God’s Word, sometimes we even understand the authenticity that the Word calls us to and yet we are reluctant to cooperate…maybe due to ego, pride and denial. God is patient. God teaches us that in waiting and praying, in other words, listening to God and really hearing God’s call, then we are able to fully cooperate and find authenticity and the true meaning of our humanity. The fullness of the Incarnation/Christmas event has so many levels of understanding that it takes the journey through the Advent Season to begin to be prepared to live out this message of humanity’s call to divinity. This call is never finished until we finish our history here on earth and so each Advent and Christmas we renew, remember and recall our vocation to holiness in the divine life.
Enjoy the rest of the Advent season…and have a very Merry Christmas!
Rev. Joseph Calderone, OSA
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