Written by Br. Gabriel Torretta, OP
Advent is a time of preparation. But preparation for what? The Church only exists because Christ has already come to us, so Advent might just seem like a collective form of play-acting, where we pretend that we don’t know what’s coming, like naughty children who have long since found where their parents hide the presents, but still have to act surprised on Christmas morning. And that’s what Advent would be if Jesus Christ were just another historical figure whose birth we celebrate, like George Washington or Martin Luther King.
But Jesus is not just a historical man who lived in the distant past. Jesus is the Messiah, the Chosen One of God, God-made-man. His birth, life, death, and resurrection restructured human life in the world—eternity is now always present to us in the living person of Jesus Christ, reigning in heaven.
God became man and lived on this earth in Jesus Christ; in heaven he reigns now, present to us in the liturgy, the sacraments, and the life of prayer; at the end of time he will come again, glorious in his judgment of the living and the dead. Advent allows us to prepare for—to reflect on and be changed by—these three ‘comings’ of Christ: in history, in our hearts, and at the last judgment.
Throughout Advent we will be presenting a series of short meditations that focus on the transformation that God offers us in Jesus Christ. To prepare our hearts for Christ’s Second Coming, we will explore the New Law that Jesus gave us to transform us by his grace: the Beatitudes, the Law of the heavenly Jerusalem. At the same time, we will reflect on the historical coming of Christ, praying with the mysteries of Mary’s life and looking to be made like her, as she was made like Christ.
Today’s meditation: Ask God to show himself to you in a new way this Advent. Spend some time in prayer, reflecting on the three ‘comings’ of Christ.
Check back on Thursday for the next reflection of the Advent 2011: Live Anew Series.