Advent came from the Latin term adventus meaning “The Coming”. As we celebrate the new liturgical calendar, we should welcome it with joy always in our hearts.
Christmas is a time of joy. But become so busy attending events and parties, preparing gifts, and meeting friends, that we often forget the essence of the celebration. We get so distracted by the things of the world which causes us not to be prepared for the real Christmas. Advent season then was put before Christmas in order for us to prepare. But why do we prepare? Because true joy is felt once we know we are ready, and that joy manifests in our lives not only on the Christmas season but throughout the year of our lives!
So, what do we prepare? First, we should cultivate the attitude of attentiveness. Attentive to the most important things in our lives – love, relationships, people. We become so occupied by the material and physical preparations of Christmas, that we forget Jesus as the main focus of the celebration. If we are not prepared, we cannot recognize the coming of Christ.
The Gospel of Mark reminds us to “take heed, watch and pray”. Jesus never told us the time when He is coming again. Wisdom teaches us to always prepare so that when He comes, we can recognize Him. The first advent should be our focal point as we take heed. The birth, the crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus is where our eyes must rest and reflect for its should be the basis of our lives everyday. We need to constantly look back on these events for it will be our guide to where we are going. In life, we should know where we are going and that is why we have advent, for us to be watchful for His coming again.
Life is short and for some of us, Jesus will come at the hour of our death. For some, death is terrifying for they have not prepared for judgement. But for those who are attentive and have been preparing and using the blessings of God wisely, death is something they can look forward to.
Lastly, Father Jun encouraged us to become vigilant in our prayers. Praying to God will change our hearts, our lives. That mere presence we spend with God will surely change us and prepare us for His coming. When? Scriptures says, “soon!”