REFLECTION FOR TODAY
November 28, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Be vigilant at all times and pray.” Lk. 21:36
Today we begin the season of Advent. A season of waiting for Christ and allowing Jesus to be reborn in our lives. Advent is also a time for purifying our hearts by repentance, it is also a time to renew our lives by reflecting on and experiencing the several comings of Christ into our lives. Besides coming into our world through birth, Jesus comes into our lives as we live them through His Church, the Sacraments, the Word of God, the worshipping community, as we die, and finally, in His Second Coming.
Advent begins with a call to vigilance as reflected in our gospel reference above. There are numerous Scripture passages that call us to this vigilance and anticipation of Jesus coming. 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.
As Christians, we need to prepare ourselves for the Second Coming of Jesus by allowing Him to be reborn daily in our lives. The season of Advent gives us time to make this preparation by repenting of our sins, by renewing our lives through prayer and penance, and by sharing our blessings with others.
This special season of grace provides an opportunity for us to check for what needs to be put right in our lives, to see how we have failed, and to assess the ways in which we can do better. Jesus must be reborn in our hearts and lives, during this season of Advent and every day of our lives. Jesus must be reborn in our love, kindness, mercy, and forgiveness
The first week of Advent also offers the focus of the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus will return 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.
Reflect today 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 daily? If you find that you are not as prepared for His return in glory as you would 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.