Stay Awake

11-27-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today begins the season of Advent and Advent comes from the Latin word “Adventus” meaning coming or preparation for an arrival. It is a time we are waiting and preparing for the coming of Christ at Christmas. When we are expecting a very important person or some guests to come, a particular reality called waiting is very imminent.

When we wait, we feel anxious, uneasy, impatient and unsure if that person will come. Fr. Munachi said of Victor Frankl in his book entitled, Man’s Search for Meaning ,tells a story of how he survived the atrocities of the Concentration Camp in Auschwitz. Frankl said that one of the worst sufferings at Auschwitz was waiting: waiting for the war to end, waiting for an uncertain date of release and waiting for death to end the agony. Waiting is one of the large realities of life. And there are so many waiting in life. Parents wait for the school bell to ring to pick up their kids. There is waiting at table for food to be served. There is waiting for graduation, payday, and publication of those who passed the exam. There is waiting for healing, for the pain to stop and many more.

Advent is a season of hope in which we prepare to celebrate the commemoration of the first coming of Jesus Christ and look forward to His second coming. Advent suggests yet a third coming, one by which a time we allow Christ to come within us in a special way. But it is no longer as He came 2000 years ago in Bethlehem but this time He comes to live in our hearts, and it is only those who welcome Him that He will be born in their heart. In those whose hearts are ready and willing will He find a room to stay.

Therefore, in advent we recall His first coming, taking flesh to dwell among us, and giving thanks that He is still with us always and looking forward with hope and eager longing for coming at the end of time. How can we prepare very well for this coming of Christ? We need to deepen our prayer life. Setting out time for prayers every day in our busy schedule is one way in which we can get ourselves well prepared to receive Christ. By praying more at this time we enter into deep communion with God. Since advent is a time of hope it is only through prayers that we can sustain that hope in the Lord.

It is a time we are also called to purify our hearts from unforgiving spirit and any hurt that may be an obstacle for welcoming Christ when He comes. We need a good examination of our life before God to see how we stand before Him. This is also to be followed by our examination of our relationship with our family members and friends. We need to look forward with hope and total trust in God always knowing that God will never abandon us.

The central message in gospel of today is to be ready because the Lord can come anytime. How prepared are we to welcome the Lord when He comes at Christmas.? Let us purify our hearts, strengthen our relationship with God and with one another that Jesus finds a place when He comes.

Father Tony Okolo C.S.Sp., V.F.