As we begin our season of Advent, once again we are waiting for the birth of our Saviour. So much of our time is spent waiting for something.
Sometimes we may be nervous, if, for example, we are expecting exam results. We may be full of anticipation, if a relative from far away is coming to visit, or if we are looking forward to a special visit or a holiday. Some waiting is not so happy – like relatives of hostages who must often despair; the long wait of the sick for an improvement in health, or the sad vigil as a loved one lies dying.
Every day we wait, for buses or trains, for answers to our letters, for appointments at the hospital; for an end to tasks we don’t like, or for the start of activities we do like!
Our whole life is one of waiting.
The liturgy of this weekend points out that all we have to do on this earth is to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Son of Man. And it is made clear to us that it is how we make use of the time we have that matters.
Just as, at the bus stop or hospital waiting room, we can use the time of waiting for good or bad-so our whole life might be useful or wasted.
If we are followers of Christ, we will not waste our time in preparation for our meeting with Jesus.
For us, Advent should be like the circuit training that both men and women do. A hard, punishing series of exercises that leave the boy exhausted, but which do the body a lot of good. The rewards of greater fitness make all the struggle of the training worthwhile for the athlete. So it should be with us.
Our spiritual preparation is hard. Extra prayers, worship, penances all seem to get in the way of a busy schedule. Yet, the rewards of being fitter for our meeting with Christ cannot be measured.
We have to admit at times that we are slaves to our human condition.
We spend so much time getting our worldly Christmas organised that it is so easy to forget what it is all about.
The tinsel, trees, glitter, and lights are fine, but if they have taken over our lives in recent Christmases, then it is time for us to put things right.
During this Advent season, let us listen to the warnings in the scripture , and make sure that we have nothing to fear. Let us treat these next few weeks in the proper manner.
We mustn’t forget to celebrate and get things organised, but let’s make sure our priorities are in the correct order. We should step back from the pressure, take a look around and not fall for the emptiness of a secular Christmas. Let’s take time to be still, and listen and pray. Then we will be able to greet Christmas joyfully, meet the Son of God without fear, and welcome our liberation.
Our life is made up of millions of ‘nows’. Let us not waste too many more of them. Let us prepare for the coming of Jeusus. Now!