Readings: Is 2:1-5; Rom 13:11-14; Matt 24:37-44
And so we begin Advent, our time of preparation for Christmas, when we celebrate God coming among us. This is a time of excitement and anticipation for many. For others, it is a time when absence is highlighted and pain is increased. This tension must be respected if we are to speak about life.
The first reading from the prophet Isaiah speaks of what God’s coming will look like, war will be no more. While there have been times in human history where advances are made in bringing peace, it is clear such progress is not linear. God is among us but there are those who march to the beat of a different drum.
The parousia or second coming of Christ was expected imminently in the first century. The second reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans and today’s Gospel of Matthew show this. During this time of Advent it is good for us to consider our preparedness to celebrate God’s presence among us at Christmas – am I ready for God’s self-gift to me? Am I living a life that is true to my beliefs? And if my answer is ‘no’ what am I going to do about it? Today’s readings challenge us to be the best version of ourselves, establish habits that enable our best selves to shine.
Again and again our faith confirms that, while we must each do our part of individual conversion to what God asks of us, we find our salvation in community. Thus I need to think about ‘we’ rather than just ‘me’. Am I ready to do that? This could be a goal for our Advent journey.