We begin the fourth and last week of Advent. Mother Church has offered us these four weeks as a time to prepare ourselves for the upcoming Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Advent, therefore, has a twofold purpose. It is a waiting time leading up to the commemoration of Christ’s nativity. With great joy, we celebrate the pivotal historical event: God the Father sending His Son, Jesus, to be born into the world to a virgin. It is the mystery of God becoming a human being. This historical event totally changed the course of humanity. For the first time in history, people saw the face of God; God became flesh to be with us and to remain with us.
It is very evident, as we meditate on sacred scripture, that God will come a second time. When the disciples asked Jesus when this will happen, Jesus’ answer was, you do not know the day; therefore, always be prepared. The second purpose of Advent is so we are always ready, waiting in hope for Jesus’ second coming. We certainly do not know when He will come the second time or when He will call us to eternal life. Both of these events could happen tomorrow. Therefore, let us take Jesus’ advice very seriously and always be prepared. Let us reconcile with one another and seek God’s mercy during this Christmas Season.
Advent and Christmas could become a very busy and stressful season: the buying of Christmas gifts, the writing and sending Christmas greetings, preparing home for your guests. Dear friends, do not let the holy day season addle you from the core of Christmas. It is about commemorating the great event of the Incarnation. It is about renewing our commitment with God. It is about waiting in hope. The best way to celebrate Christmas is being part of your family gatherings and being with God by participating in one Christmas Mass.
God bless you all.
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.