We are approaching the end of our Advent season, and we are living in difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Even in these uncertain times, many of us are busy going shopping, making plans, and getting ready for Christmas. But in the midst of all this “busyness”, are we really preparing spiritually for the coming of Jesus? Are we leading others to Christ by our words and our example? These are some of the questions that our Advent scriptures invite us and challenge us to address.
In our gospels for Advent, this invitation and challenge to prepare for Christ and to lead others to Him come principally from John the Baptist. He tells us to prepare for the coming of the Lord, acknowledge our shortcomings and failures, repent of our sins, and change our hearts. With great humility, he acknowledges that his role is subordinate to that of Jesus. He must decrease and Jesus must increase. John is the voice urging us to make way for the Lord and prepare for His coming.
As we know, the coming of Jesus is near, but we still have time to prepare for Him. We also still have time to help others prepare for Him. As previously noted, one of our leading Catholic authors reminds us that one of our major challenges this Advent may be to help our families, our other loved ones, our friends, our neighbors, or our co-workers truly see the light of Christ shine in the world. This may be difficult unless they can clearly see the light of Christ shining in us. If they see substantive changes in our lives, it may encourage them to make substantive changes in their lives. And this might place them on the path of spiritual progress, on the path of spiritual healing, a path that John the Baptist in such an eloquent way challenges us to embrace.
The following “PRAYER FOR THE END OF OUR ADVENT JOURNEY” reflects the significance of this special time.
As we reflect on this prayer, and as our Advent season comes to an end, may we truly strive through our words and example to be spiritually ready as we wait in joyful anticipation for the coming of Our Lord, Our Savior, Our King of Kings.
God, thank you for allowing me to arrive at this blessed day. The journey has been long, in some cases – years.
I stand in awe of the great gift that awaits me: the gift of your son, Jesus.
Let me unwrap that gift once and for all.
Though the road that I continue on from here may have obstacles that make me fall, I know now that I have the strength to rise again because this journey has made me ever stronger and more willing to stay close to You.