Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The Season of Advent is once again upon us. It is the Advent of our Messiah-Savior-Redeemer. Our Divine Lord came to save us in the past by His birth at Bethlehem. He comes to save us in the present, through the saving mission of the Catholic Church. He comes to save us in the future by His Second Coming at the end of time.

During November, the liturgy exhorted us to prepare for the Day of Judgment. We must be among those, "who have survived the great period of trial, who have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb" (Apoc 7:14). The Advent liturgies prepare us for both comings of Christ. From the 1st Sunday in Advent to December 16, the stress is on His Second Coming. Then, the emphasis shifts to Our Lord's First Coming and His humble birth.

Jesus Christ’s Second Coming should fill our hearts with joyful anticipation because then, He will complete His work of Redemption. He will raise each and every human person from the dead and reunite us with our bodies. In Christ’s glory, we will be clothed eternally with incorruptibility (se1Coror 15:50f).

The preface of the Mass for the first part of Advent exhorts us: "Now we watch for the day, hoping that the salvation promised us will be ours when Christ our Lord will come again in His Glory."

Our, watch, must always include three basic ingredients:
a) Live a Catholic liturgical life through the Mass and the frequent reception of the sacraments,

b) Live Catholic faith by humbly accepting all that our holy religion teaches,

c) Live Catholic morality (i.e., our moral behavior) by rendering, a religious submission of mind and will to everything taught by the Holy Father and Catholic Tradition.

The Advent Season is a time when we meditate on the justice and the mercy of God. At the Second Coming of Christ, He will come in justice. The time for mercy will have passed. Thus, these early Advent liturgies exhort us to prepare to render an account of our lives on the Day of Judgment.

The second half of the Advent Season prepares us for the First Coming of Christ. At Bethlehem, Jesus comes to us in mercy. Jesus Christ is the mercy of God Who has become Man. He comes to us as the poorest of the poor and the most humble of the humble. He comes to us as a Babe in the arms of His Virgin Mother. As we marvel at the Crib of Bethlehem, our hearts are filled with great joy. We see a helpless Babe in the arms of His youthful mother. He is completely dependent on His mother’s love, just as you and I were dependent on our mothers. We have nothing to fear in Jesus Christ. Now, He is our Brother, our Divine Brother!

Kneeling by the Crib, we find Joseph. He is the intimate and indispensable part of this inner circle of love. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Even the animals sense the profound peace that pervades the gentle serenity of the stable.

Let us begin Advent with a holy confession. Resolve to turn from sin, never to return. Let not the Christmas Season become a pagan festival filled with useless sentimentality. Put on instead the true sentiments of Advent. Prepare for both comings of Christ. On this first Sunday of Advent the Church exclaims in the Gospel verse: "Lord, let us see your kindness and grant us your salvation." Alleluia! JESUS CHRIST, OUR SAVIOR IS COMING!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


Post a Comment

<< Home