ADVENT : Readiness to welcome the Lord
"ADVENT" comes from the Latin "ADVENTUS" which means "COMING".
In Advent we prepare for the coming of our Lord and of his Kingdom of love. Advent reminds us not only of the need to be saved, but also of our duty to be always ready to welcome the Lord in our life. He already came as a frail child when He was born in Bethelehem. But we have to remember that He wants to come also into our hearts. He wants us to become ever more like Himself, both as human beings and as sons and daughters of God. Let us open the doors of our hearts that He may flood us with the splendor of his grace and the abundance of his joy and peace.
In practical terms, this means to have in ourselves a deep desire to do the Father's will. If we cultivate such an openness and availability, we shall ever more become Christ-like in our thoughts, aspirations, attitudes, actions. And thus, we shall be totally committed to do our share in carrying out God's plan of saving love as Christ did.
We need God's help to get out of ourselves, to show an interest in others and share with them the blessings we have received from the Lord.
The Lord is near. His kingdom of love is also at hand…But whether this becomes reality in our world depends also on us. Where people cherish magnificent ideals of peace and amity but refuse to live in peace with one another, there the Lord does not come.
We can talk a whole evening and discuss how to make our society a community of love, but without sharing a bit of our lives in mutual love, there the Lord will never come.
The Lord and his kingdom come only where people not only dream of a better world, but also are ready to make these dreams come true.
Advent is for all of us an opportunity to evaluate our standing in this respect and to take appropriate action.
Fr. Cipriano Bontacchio