THE SEASON OF ADVENT
In Christian tradition, advent is often regarded as a season of preparation. The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word “Adventus” which means “the coming” also known in Greek as “Parousia”. Advent is a time when the people of God prepare for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, a fall that sever man’s relationship with his God, the world eagerly awaits the coming of the Messiah. Him who is to redeem and save the entire human race, restoring mankind to his fellowship with God.
Today, here is the good news! Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ has risen and Christ will come again. Therefore, the season of advent now goes beyond waiting to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the manger, it is all about preparation to experience His beatific vision at the expiration of our lives here on earth.
The readings of the season echo messages of spiritual preparation, repentance, hope and joyful expectation. The Prophet Isaiah calls everyone – young and old to prepare spiritually for the Lord’s coming:
A voice cries: “Prepare in the wilderness a way of the Lord. Make a straight highway for our God across the desert. Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low, let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges a valley; then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall it; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken – Isaiah 40:3-5.
The season of advent calls us to forsake our evil ways and to seek righteousness. It is a time of atonement for our sins as we await the coming of our righteous judge. As proclaimed by the Prophet Isaiah:
Thus says the Lord : Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. Happy is the mortal who does this, the one who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbaths not profaning it, and refrains from doing any evil – Isaiah 56:1-2
The season of Advent is a season of hope as Prophet Isaiah puts it:
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God, He will come with vengeance, and terrible recompense. He will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:4
Advent is also a season of joyful expectation:
Go up on a high mountain, joyful messenger to Zion. Shout with a loud voice, joy messenger Jerusalem. Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God. ” Here is the Lord coming with power, His arm subduing all things to Him, His trophies all go before Him. He is like a shepherd feeding His flock, gathering lambs in His arms, holding them against His breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes – Isaiah 40:9-11
What are your plans for this year’s advent? What is your expectation? What do you hope for at Christmas and at the expiration of your life on earth? What preparation are you making? It mustn’t be only to welcome Christ at Christmas but also on that day when you will behold Him face to face?
This call for reflection is the essence of the season. But as you ponder over these questions, keep in mind these words: repentance and righteousness. You must be sober and vigilant knowing that our adversary, the devil walks about seeking whom to devour (I Pet 5:8). And never be oblivious that Satan also awaits another coming (Matthew 12:43-45) just as an unclean spirit seeks to return into the minds of men but we must realize that we are to give him no place (Ephesians 4:27).
As we journey into this season of grace, we must remember, there is no vacuum in life or in the world of the spirit, so if we are not waiting and preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ, guess whom we will be inviting by default? – The Devil.
So, beloved, we must take an expectancy inventory of our lives, so that this season will be for us a fruitful adventure and not a failed venture.
Lord of Hosts bring us back
Let Your face shine us and we shall be save d . Amen