Let Us Prepare Ourselves for the Coming of Jesus

We are invited to open our hearts to the voice of Christ and to not close our eyes to His manifestations.  

Newsroom (03/12/2021 08:30, Gaudium Press) During the season of Advent, the Church begins to manifest a “new physiognomy“: purple predominates in the colour of the vestments; the singing of the Gloria ceases; the altars no longer bear the flowers that used to adorn them. There is an atmosphere of expectation in the air before the great event, the event that has divided history into two periods: the birth of the Child Jesus in a cave in Bethlehem.

We, at present, are preparing the next four weeks for His arrival; symbolically, these weeks signify the four millennia during which humanity has anxiously awaited the advent of the Messiah.

Do not harden your hearts

The name given to this liturgical season expresses well the reality that we are living: we are waiting for Christmas, for God’s coming to earth. However, it is not a simple remembrance of something that happened two thousand years ago. When we celebrate any liturgical action, we are given graces similar to those given to men who experienced it through the physical presence of Christ.

Yet, one could point out that the liturgy of this time mainly portrays the end of time and the final judgment (cf. Lk 21:27; 1 Thess 3:13). Would not the proposed readings, then, be somewhat inconsistent with the solemnity so long awaited?

It so happens that the Church takes advantage of this occasion to prepare us, not only for the first coming of Our Lord – by recalling it and bringing it into the present – but also for the Second Coming, when He will come to judge all mankind.

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It is for this reason that the Apostle exhorts us to live to please God more and more and to desire always that He confirm us in holiness (cf. 1 Thess 3:12-4:2). In the same way, we are given an important warning: that of never allowing our hearts to become insensitive to the signs that God sends us.

Such signs can be as great as the calamities foretold by Christ in the Gospel (cf. Lk 21:25-26); but they can also be seemingly insignificant, such as a grace received, inviting us to leave the ways of sin and to change our behaviour, or urging us to live by God’s Commandments. At the very least, our Lord is always desirous of communicating with us, and He often uses these means to show us His plans and to prepare us for the day when we shall meet Him.

What should our attitude be towards this?

We need to be constantly vigilant so that these words do not remain sterile in us.

Imagine a man who has been warned by his doctor not to eat certain foods, as the consumption of these foods will bring the danger of doing great harm to his health. How carefully would he avoid such foods in order to preserve his life? In the same way, the Divine Physician gives us a warning of that which we are to avoid, for He wishes to save us and give us eternal life.

In this year of 2021, marked not only by the pandemic, but also by various natural disasters that have shaken the world, does Our Lord not want to send us a message?

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Let us therefore turn to the Blessed Virgin, to ensure that we are ever sensitive to the signs that God sends us, and will thus be able to stand before the Son of Man (cf. Lk 21:36).

By Jerome Sequeira Vaz

Compiled by Sandra Chisholm

 

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