Preparing to receive the Lord
Dear parishioners and friends,
This weekend, we begin the new Liturgical Year and enter the season of Advent. This season of preparation has us looking forward to the coming of the Lord, and looking inward at our own hearts to make sure we are ready to receive him. As the candles of the Advent wreath remind us, it’s a time for us to renew (or perhaps even rediscover) our hope, faith, joy, and peace by reorienting our hearts towards Jesus.
St Paul tells us this weekend to “lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light…put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Before we’re tempted to say we don’t participate in works of darkness, that phrasing doesn’t necessarily mean just evil deeds. It can also be applied to whatever pulls us away from God – in other words, any sin, great or small.
Furthermore, the Gospel this weekend underscores the importance of being prepared and ready to receive the Lord. We have no idea when he will come again, but we do know that he will. Thus, the preparations we make during Advent not only help us commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ: they also serve as a reminder for us to use our whole lives to prepare for his coming at the end of time.
This Advent, let’s make a conscious and valiant effort as a community to raise each other up in prayer, and to support those around us in need. Let’s cast aside our works of darkness by opening up to the Lord about our shortcomings and weaknesses in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and nourishing our souls through the Eucharist and through prayer. And let’s allow hope, faith, joy, and peace light the path that brings us closer to God as we prepare not just for this Christmas, but for His eternal kingdom.