My dear brothers and Sisters,
The season of Advent has begun once again. A time – plainly speaking – questions our preparedness and readiness for the Lord. I am not sure, how many of you will agree with me if I say, Advent has got nothing to do with Christmas, in the sense – it has got nothing to do with all our material preparations for Christmas that in fact overshadow the real implications of the Season of Advent.
Yes, it is true that the Season of Advent culminates in the Stable of Bethlehem. What happened there was not Christmas that we have been celebrating for years. That was the Mystery of Incarnation – God becoming Man – God embracing our Humanity-Word Made Flesh and Love made Flesh. That stable of Bethlehem is the reason why you and I are Christians today. That stable of Bethlehem is the reason why you and I are religious and that Stable of Bethlehem is a reason why our life has a purpose here on this earth. If I can sum up the purpose – in simple language – it is the eternal life, life with God, to be accepted by the Lord. This is what we should be concerned about during the Season of Advent.
Advent is a time to reflect on the Second Coming of Christ – In the creed that we profess we say – He will come again to judge the loving and the dead. The readings and liturgy symbolisms used in this season of Advent point to the second coming of Christ. The Gospel passage today says: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” “you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
So Preparation for that coming of the Son of Man is what Advent aims at. Even if we don’t celebrate Christmas at the end of this season, it would not be a matter of importance but if we forget the meaning and implications of Advent and if we are not prepared and ready for the coming of the Son of Man, we will be condemning ourselves. Let me take recourse to the second reading today:
It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep, writes St. Paul to the Romans. The famous advent hymn goes thus: Wake up, O , People the Lord is very near! Let us be awake to the teachings of Christ, Let us be awake to our commitment as Christians, let us be awake to the religious life that we have professed to live by. Paul continues saying “Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.
The works of darkness put us to shame and riddle us with guilt but humans we are, we continue to engage ourselves with works of darkness in our personal, professional and religious life and therefore the warning of Paul makes much sense to us. It is time to throw away the works of darkness. We should put on the armour of light – Jesus is the light and his words are the armour. If we arm ourselves with Christ, we stand ever ready and always prepared.
Paul says – Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. We need put Jesus on ourselves. So he does not belong to the cribs that we soon busy ourselves in creating it. Do not just put Jesus in the Crib but we need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to become a crib ourselves carrying Jesus.
Advent is a time to become more aware of the presence of the Lord in our lives. Advent is a time to wake up from the slumber of sin to a life of grace and blessing. Advent is a time to shake off the dust of sluggishness and become more zealous and fervent. The central theme of reading of the Day is Jesus’ warning to each one of us to be alert, watchful and prepared
Those who have hoarded illegal money would be all having one same lamentation: if only i knew a week earlier, a day earlier at least a few hours earlier but the announcement came in the most unexpected manner. They ask now for time when it’s all already gone! Not a good comparison though but makes the message of the Gospel contextual for us: Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
As we discuss during this season, what shall be our Christmas gifts and how much shall be for each one’s Christmas gift, what shall be our decoration and how shall we make the crib, where shall we shop and how shall we treat our friends and benefactors, Let us not miss the point – Christmas – the first coming has no relevance for one who does not stand ready and prepared for the Lord‘s second coming! Let alone Christmas and Let alone His Second coming – Let me ask If i stand prepared for the Lord coming in this Eucharist – here and now