It sounds a little bit extraordinary that the readings from these two past weeks have been focusing on a theme that seems appropriate, in our ordinary way of reading salvation history, for Advent: we have to be prepared.
In Advent, we hear time and again the prophets remind us that the time is here when we have to prepare for the coming of the Son of God. This has been so immersed in our lives that we think it appropriate to talk or to think about preparation only when it comes about getting ready for Christmas. Today’s readings, following those of the last weekend, are giving us a new understanding about the disciples’ preparedness. We are all reminded that we are on a journey, and that this world is not our final destination. Therefore, we have to live as if we were to respond now to the ultimate call.
Sometimes, we are so into the business of the world and we so much sink into what seems more important for this world that we happen to forget the purpose of our own existence as well as God’s purpose for the whole of creation, and especially for us human beings he created in his own image and after his likeness.
What then is the meaning of this business of being prepared? For us it means first and foremost to accept and welcome Jesus Christ in our lives in a new way. This means that we embrace him with humility and sincerity of hearts as to believe that he the only and true source of our happiness. That way, we will look at the world with renewed lenses, which help us see it and all its content as a gift from God, for his glory and our sanctification. Secondly, to be prepared is to make ours and always keep in mind Saint Paul’s words that, “we are not citizens of this world; our city is in heaven.” This helps us live by faith; for faith gives us the assurance that everything will work for good if we trust in the Lord. For, as it is said, “faith is the realization of what is hoped and evidence of things not seen.” To be prepared is finally, longing for these “things not seen.”
In today’s world where everything gives us the illusion to procure and to provide true and eternal happiness here and now, we are challenged to rediscover the purpose of our own existence and the mission that was entrusted to us by the Creator. This way we will once again return to the source of our life and grasp the true meaning of God’s call to be prepared. Preparedness will therefore embrace our entire life journey and go beyond the scope of dated Christmas; for even Christmas embraces our entire life and should be lived as such.
As we embrace with faith God’s call to be prepared, let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.