I remember my parents’ response when I was young and they would call me to dinner or whatever. I would respond with, “I’m coming” and they would reply, “So is Christmas!” To a youngster, even in December, Christmas always took a long time coming, and sometimes to parents too!
Jesus promised He would come again. The early Christians thought that it was imminent, but over 2,000 years later we still need to learn a thing or two about God’s timing. With Advent we are given the opportunity to practice preparing for His future coming while celebrating His first coming. In the time between the two there are many generations that live and pass. For these, Jesus second coming is that at the end of their lives. It may not be as nice a topic to think about as baby Jesus lying in a manger, yet it is one we will need to face, sooner or later.
My family experienced the passing of my uncle and my aunt in consecutive days this Advent. For them, Christmas came early this year. It’s just a week away to the calendar date for Christmas, and I can’t help but think about them and how they experienced the true meaning of Christmas. As I keep them and their families in my prayers, their passing has made Christmas so much more real this year. Christ comes; that is what our faith is all about. Like the shepherds and the magi, we seek Jesus now, so that when He comes again, it will be like welcoming a good friend that we are excited to spend time with, and that being all of eternity. The wonder and joy that Christmas is on earth will be beyond whatever we can imagine in heaven, since we will be with Jesus.
This last week of Advent may pass very slowly for some and for others all too quickly. But no matter what happens, we will welcome Jesus into our lives as we celebrate Christ’s Mass*. It’s time to make haste and make ready for the coming of the Lord. Will you be ready?
*Christmas is derived from the Old English of Christ’s Mass, that is the Mass celebrating Christ’s birth.