Question: Did you go shopping on Black (and blue) Friday? Millions of people went shopping for Christmas, but why? Haven’t you heard that the world will end on December 21st, so shopping for Christmas (December 25th) seems pointless? By now most people have either seen the movie “2012” or have heard about the Mayan prediction of the end of the world. It is the latest in a series of such predictions. I want to make a prophetic statement – the world will not end on December 21st!
In the Gospel this weekend Jesus spoke about the terrifying end of times that would proceed His second coming. It paints a vivid picture of how “the moon would grow dark and the stars would fall from the sky like leaves in autumn.” So why, as we begin Advent, does the Church want to focus on such scary images?
Advent is a time of preparation for the commemoration of Christ’s birth, the First Coming; but it is also a preparation for the Second Coming, for which we should be ready at all times.
Preparing can be tough. This time of the year we have the joy of friends and family visiting, which is wonderful, but it can tend to bring out the “crazy” around our house. Keeping the house clean so that everyone who comes into our house thinks we always have this perfectly clean, organized house causes many tears at times. I saw a great sign that read, “If you wanted to see my house clean, you should have visited last week.” Cleaning the house is tough and ongoing. The next four weeks is also an opportunity to clean the house of your soul, so that He won’t find that “there is no room at the inn” for Him.
This is the season, not only of expectation, but also a season of immense hope—hope in the divine life that Christ has prepared for all of us. If you’ve been away, perhaps this is the time to return home. If there is someone you know who has left the Church, invite him back so that he can be here with us, his family in Christ, to welcome Him once more. This is the time to come out of the darkness of confusion, or misunderstanding, or perhaps wounded pride, to come back into the clear bright light that can come only from Christ.
Let’s be intentional in our preparation this Advent.