Advent: Why Do We Wait?
What is the message of Advent? Why are we waiting?
Advent is a season of preparation: we shop for gifts, plan parties, and decorate our homes for the coming of Christmas. Sometimes it is easy to forget the real mission of Advent: preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus Christ. We are bombarded by commercial messages in which the reason for Christmas—Emmanuel, “God with us”—is absent or overlooked. However, the rituals and practices of our Catholic liturgies during this season can join us together with the People of God. United, we can offer messages of challenge and hope and express our desire for God's presence in our midst.
Advent blends penitence, preparedness, and joy. We are called to consider our lives and to repent—or turn around—from those things that keep us from God. In this way, we repent and prepare for the Second Coming of the Lord. This theme of preparedness permeates the liturgies of Advent. Lastly we are called to be joyful as we get ready to celebrate the incarnation of our Savior in Bethlehem.
We wait for the coming of Christ in human history at Bethlehem, in our hearts each day, and at the end of time. The readings of Advent direct us to be prepared as we “do not know the hour or the day” of Christ's coming. But it is the present to which we should give our attention. Christ comes to us each day in word and sacrament, in prayer and grace, and through the people in his Church. Can we try to be aware of his presence and power within our lives? Can we be open to his call and let him work through us in the world?
What is the message of Advent? For what are we waiting? Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus! Help us to know you, love you, and serve you. Increase our faith. Help us understand. Let us be your eyes, ears, and hands on earth. Let us show your love. Come!
Join us on _________ from _________ for an Intergenerational Event, Advent—Waiting for Jesus Christ. Come share and explore the meaning of Advent with your friends and neighbors. Please meet us in _________.