Advent is a season of great hope! It prepares us for the Second Coming of Christ and celebrates the Nativity of Christ at Christmas. With themes of faith, hope, longing, preparation, and determination, Advent calls us to wait with faith and hope; to prepare for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Every day at Mass, the priest prays: “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” During Advent, we reflect and meditate upon this deliverance, peace, and great hope even more intently.
Each year during the season of Advent, we hear the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone” (Isaiah 9:2). Unlike our ancestors who walked in darkness waiting for the coming of the Messiah, we walk in a great light. In the mystery of the Incarnation and the coming of Jesus, God is truly and forever with us as our savior and our brother. His coming is the sign of God’s enduring and redeeming love for each of us and all humanity.
And so, we prepare, and we wait. Even amid much suffering in our world for so many, exacerbated by a global pandemic, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and disrupted countless others, we still find hope.
As Catholics, we place our trust and hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and his promised return. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:1-3).
Through the voices of the prophets, especially Isaiah and St. John the Baptist, we are called, in the light of our hope in Christ Jesus, our Savior and our Messiah, to face the darkness of sin in our world, in our Church and in each of our lives, and repent. We can be confident that the light has overcome the darkness as we look back with gratitude and rejoicing at the first coming of Jesus when he was born in the flesh in Bethlehem so long ago and look forward in expectation and hope to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time. May these weeks of Advent preparation and the upcoming celebration of Christmas be a graced and joyful time for you all!