Advent is not merely a season we pass through on our way to Christmas; it is an important liturgical season, but even more than that: it is a season of our own very Christian lives. We rejoice today at Christ’s first coming, at His coming again (to us in this season as we prepare and commit ourselves to a deeper faith) and His Final Advent when He returns to bring us all who truly desire it, with Him. All “Advents” are vitally important, all are worth rejoicing in.
God in His great love for us entered human history as one of us, He came and redeemed us, as we were all in need of redemption. We have been getting it wrong since the beginning, in the Garden of Eden. The faithful, or those who were becoming faithful prepared for the coming of the Christ child and our Gospel readings and Isaiah’s Prophecy reminds us of how amazing, special, important and earth-shattering that First Noel really was.
God in His great love for us, continues to be with us first of all by giving us the ongoing Presence of His Son in Word (Gospels) and Deed (Sacraments, most especially the Holy Eucharist). This means His Son has never left us, but today’s Advent is by means of the Holy Spirit who enters more deeply into the heart of the believer (hopefully us) and allows God’s love to penetrate more deeply. We prepare the Way for the Lord in our hearts as we reflect upon another year and seek greater wisdom and understanding so that we may be more dedicated Christian Disciples today and every day. What a reason to rejoice!
And God is His Greatest act of love ever, desires us to be with Him forever and the meaning and purpose of our lives and everyone else’s, whether they know it or not is to joyfully prepare for the Last Advent when Christ will come and the fullness of redemption will be completed. In so many ways, we cannot place our focus on this because we wouldn’t be as engaged in being Christian and living as we ought to today if we were awaiting that Last Advent. In another way, it is good to be consciously aware of it, as to do so brings about a sense of urgency in being or becoming the very best versions of our Christian selves we can be. St. Teresa of Calcutta was known for imploring priests “celebrate this Mass like it’s your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass”. I have really tried to own these words as we all should in participating at the Mass as well – but the sentiment extends beyond Holy Mass to everything we do as Christians. We cannot and should not wait for another day to be amazing, ardent and evangelizing Christians. We have our mission: to get ourselves to heaven and bring as many people with us as we can! Let’s then do so joyfully on this Gaudete Sunday when we are aware or should become aware of how very much indeed we are loved and may we rejoice in that.