What is the meaning of Advent?
Can we say that today for many, Advent is limited only to the colorful streets, lampions and preparation of Christmas decorations, sumptuous displays in the shops and promotions in supermarkets and molls? For many contemporary, Advent means rather hours spend in hunting the Christmas gifts and presents. Will I be far away from the truth if I dare to say that although the season of Christmas is the season of light (what we can see on our streets and in our supermarkets) indeed internally for many among us it's the time of darkness or spiritual darkness, religious emptiness?
What is the deepest sense of all this?
Do you remember the Advent last year? Did it not look like this year in more or less the same way? Despite of the fact that since last Advent we became certainly wiser and more skilled, more involved in a different aspects of our daily life, can we say that also in our relationship with God we are better, deeper, more sincere and more honest? Or should we rather say that we did not progress, that for many years now we are living rather a kind of stagnation? And after Christmas with our faith will share the lot of the Christmas decorations, it will go to the storage room till next year?
At the beginning of this Advent we have to find a serious answer for a question: "what am I waiting for?" Because if this Advent will be for me once again (or once more) the time only for gifts and presents and external colorful lampions it is true that I will be afraid and frustrated when Jesus is talking about the inevitability of His final coming, I will be frustrated and scared, I will be afraid. And if I am afraid I will run away from Him, I will despise Him, I will run into the superficiality of colorful decorations. They are beautiful and cheering but if this is only the meaning of Advent and Christmas … let us be frank it is empty and superficial.
We have to know that the one of the most dangerous words for our spiritual life is the word "tomorrow". This word tries to convince me that I still have a time, plenty of time for confession, for prayer, for liberating my busy life for God. But in reality with "tomorrow" mentality I will never be able to say to God COME LORD JESUS. This is why today at the beginning of Advent we are receiving from God one more chance, one more opportunity to deepen our personal relationship with Emmanuel, with GOD WHO IS WITH US. It is the time when I suppose to prepare not only my house, to ornate and decorate not only the front doors of my apartment, to cleanse not only my flat but first at all to prepare my heart to accept God whenever He comes.
It will certainly cost me more than only external preparations but it will be certainly more successful and more rewarding if I have the courage to do it.
Advent is the time of preparation but first and foremost the internal preparation to meet God in so many different ways. He is coming in the manger; he is coming in His Word, Body and Blood during the Mass, He is coming also in my neighbour, in a poor, the needy, and starving. He is coming in so many ways. Am I ready to meet Him, do I wait for Him, or simply I DON’T HAVE TIME?