This Sunday, December 3, the Church begins a new season: the season of Advent, a time of preparation for the approaching Christmas.
Monsignor André Sampaio de Oliveira, Doctor in Canon Law
The invitation to announce the glad tidings sounds in the liturgy of the church: “God is coming!” Two words announce to all hearts the hope that renews human life and opens the horizons for a fuller life. Two words are a light that illuminates our path, that warms our hearts and opens us to the love of God and our neighbor. “May the Lord make you grow in love for one another and for everyone” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
Advent, in Latin “adventus” means “coming”. What, then, does the coming of the Lord consist of? Does this income also make us responsible?
What happens during the Advent season looks back two thousand years to the birth of Christ; This is to point to his last glorious coming; But it is about being alert and attentive to His visits in our lives today.
Preparing for Christmas is looking forward to Christ’s return. He has already arrived. He was born in a particular place, in a particular country and changed our history and life. In that small village of Bethlehem in Judea, Mary’s son Jesus was born, and this child began a path through which we are all heirs. As we look at this historical event, we must be introduced to God’s plan that comes to us in a very special way in the history of salvation, in His Son Jesus.
In Advent we also prepare for the last coming of the Lord. He will come in His glory, at the end of time. Advent is not vague or illusory, but a favorable time to rediscover a firm and reliable faith, because it is “anchored” in Christ, God made man, the Rock of our salvation. With this faith we now create our present and look to the future with the eyes of faith, the eyes of God.
A time for vigil and prayer
But “God is coming!” He is coming now, in our lives today. Visitation is therefore a time of vigilance and prayer, a time to feel and experience God’s presence as he continually visits our lives. God comes to us now in many ways, through events and people. Therefore, let this time be an inspiration to keep our eyes and hearts wide open, alert and attentive in finding the presence of God in our lives, in the Church, in the community, in the family, at work and in school. In pain and in joy.
Coming, coming, always coming. This is not a simple static approach, but it reveals to us who God is: a God who constantly reaches out to man, redeems and regenerates him. He is not an absent and uncaring God in our lives, but a Father who cares for us with love and affection. Advent will therefore be a time when we identify God more intimately, forcing us to act, react, respond to His love, and experience the joy of our divine union.
“God is coming!” To understand the deeper meaning of these words, we can look at the person, the coming of the Lord happened in a unique and unique way: the Virgin Mary. “When the time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4).
May Mary, the coming Mother of God, walk with us in this season of Advent towards the great celebration of Christ’s birth. May the Mother of God be an example to each of us. An example for those who joyfully await the coming of the Savior, an example for those who know that they are weak and in need of God, but, at the same time, responsible, cooperative and dedicated to his work. Mary was a collaborator in this act of God, accepted as the mother of his own Son: she gave the world Christ Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. With that we can give Christ to today’s world; We can live in Him and proclaim Him in our daily lives through our gestures, visits, works and words.
To live this Advent season more faithfully and fruitfully, let us fix our gaze on the Holy Mary, Virgin of Childbirth, who will be the path to the Child God. When God knocked on the door of her youth, she accepted him with faith and love. Now it is God who is knocking at the door of our heart. Let us not fear, let God permeate and enrich our lives with His gifts of love.
Let this be our prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
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