The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


When the First Week of Advent rolls around each year, it seems that much of our consumer society has already been celebrating the “holiday season” for weeks. But not us—not yet. Instead, we are told: “Keep awake! Be ready. The Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

How do we prepare for the unexpected? Perhaps the answer is simpler than it seems. When we are expecting a special guest to come into our home, we usually know the approximate hour, but our true focus is really not on the time of the guest’s arrival. Rather, it is on being fully present to that guest whenever he or she arrives. We want the guest to feel welcome, comfortable, at home.

As Christians, we believe Christ will come again, but we also must adhere to the belief that he already dwells among us—through the Holy Spirit, in Word and Sacrament, and in the life of the Church of which we are members. However, are we present? Have we, as St. Paul says, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. Romans 13:11-14) and made him at home within us? Are we attentive to the moments and circumstances into which the unexpected light of the Lord is born?

The annual celebration of Advent—which means “Coming”—invites us to become increasingly present to the arrival of our Savior each and every day of our lives. By preparing for his coming year after year, we prepare for the Final Coming of Christ—that hour that encompasses all eternity.

Let us, then, be present this moment, for our “salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers” (Romans 13:11).

--Adapted from Grace in the Wilderness:
Reflections on God's Sustaining Word Along Life's Journey
by Br. Francis de Sales Wagner, O.S.B.
© 2013 Abbey Press, Path of Life Publications

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