Advent is a time set aside by the Church to prepare for the Coming of the Lord, supposedly at Christmas. But this weekend’s Scripture readings say nothing about Christmas. Instead, they encourage us to be ready for the final coming of the Lord.
We can really speak of two final Comings. The first will be at the end of time, when all will be gathered together and be eternally present – body and soul – to each other and to God. The second will be when the Lord comes to call me home … to call you home … to call someone you love home. We have no idea which will happen first.
We really need this encouragement to be ready. Sure, we don’t like to think too much about how or when we will leave this world. But it is the one future fact of our lives which is absolutely certain.Maybe we’ll think about it on occasion, but then again, there are people who are very afraid to die and who don’t even want the subject raised.
Many of us are like the folks mentioned in the Gospel: “… they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing till the flood came and swept them all away…”(Mt 24:38-39). These people were doing very ordinary things, exactly as we do. But they were so busy doing them that they failed to give any thought to where their lives were ultimately leading and what was the goal of that life. In the end, they were not ready for the most important moment of their lives.
The question is: “How ready am I right now?” Maybe a way to answer that is to ask another question: “How am I to prepare?”
If, in my words and actions, my daily life is full of the spirit of Jesus, then I have prepared.Concentrate on today, on the present hour, the present situation and respond to it with the spirit of Jesus and the future will take care of itself.
Be God’s spirit for someone today!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.