Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
1 John 3:2-3
The season of Advent celebrates two comings in the life of Christ: one future and one past. Advent prepares our hearts for the second coming of Christ for he will bring history to an end by fully establishing his kingdom. Also, Advent prepares our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s first coming, Christmas. Advent is a season of joy for we are grateful for Christ’s coming in the manger and Advent is a season of repentance as we know that Christ comes again in holiness, power, and judgment.
Advent waiting is the prayerful longing to see Jesus face-to-face and experience the God’s Holy Spirit pouring upon us in love and grace. In preparation for the coming church and secular year, we yearn for the transformation of our hearts. Advent waiting is gratefulness for Christ’s first coming while eagerly expecting Christ’s second coming in glorious majesty. Advent waiting converts our hearts as we await Christ’s physical appearance in the skies.
In this present world, we endure while calmly trusting the Holy Spirit to be Christ in us in the midst of a fallen and decadent world. In hope, we look forward to seeing our blessed Savior face-to-face.
Pope John Paul II in his address on Dec. 18, 2002 said,
The liturgy of Advent . . . helps us to understand fully the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas. It is not just about commemorating the historical event, which occurred some 2,000 years ago in a little village of Judea. Instead, it is necessary to understand that the whole of our life must be an ‘advent,’ a vigilant awaiting of the final coming of Christ. To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously.
The season of Advent begins Sunday, November 28th.