Advent has always been a rather fascinating season for me. It is a time when we prepare for the coming of Christ in Christmas yet it is also a time when we prepare ourselves for Christ’s coming to us in other ways.
This season helps us to focus not only on Christ’s coming to us at Christmas but his coming to us in the sacraments and his final coming at the end of time.
The incarnation is the coming of God in the flesh. The sacraments are an extension of the incarnation and brings into our time and place the grace that was bought for us by Christ. Death and then the final judgment shows us the fulfillment of the incarnation where we experience God’s face in our resurrected bodies.
Advent allows us the time to focus on how God reveals himself to us in our lives and requires us to reflect on how we respond to that revelation. One day we shall be required to give an answer to that!
Benedictine life is sometimes called one long Lent yet I would argue that it is also one long Advent, for as Benedictines we strive to make our lives into a great vigil for the Lord.
This is a time when our hearts should be filled with longing. This is a time when we should review our spiritual lives to see how we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ in various ways. This is a time when we must remind ourselves and the world that God so loved us that he gave us his only Son to become like us.
Let us celebrated Advent with a longing heart so that we might truly rejoice in the joy of the incarnation.