Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Reflections of Advent, 4 weeks before Christmas

Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas. At Mass every week, we say that we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are waiting for Christ to return. Remember, Christ was already here. He came to Earth about 2,000 years ago, born of the Virgin Mary. When the Angel appeared to Mary at the Annunciation, he told he she would bear the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Mary was completely faithful to God, no matter how hard his teachings were to accept. Mary was completely obedient to God, whereas Eve disobeyed God. Eve's no was Mary's yes. In fact, Mary is the reverse of Eve. Eve in Latin is Eva, Eva is reversed to form Ave, from which we say Ave Maria, or Hail Mary in English. Adam brought death into the world by disobeying God, but Jesus, the new Adam brought life into the world, and opened the gates of Heaven. We celebrate the incarnation of Jesus Christ, from the moment of his conception. Jesus, just a few cells minutes after his conception, was the Son of God Incarnate. Mary is the mother of God.

Now, during Advent, we also wait for the coming of Jesus Christ, but now we wait with a double meaning. We not only anticipate Christ's first coming, but also his second. We marvel at the past, and rejoice in the future. For the gift of God's son to Mankind is an eternal gift, shared by our generation as well as hundreds of generations before us. Jesus, though God, gave himself completely to mankind, so that they might see that the greatest of kings is the lowliest of servants.

God is a God of paradox, but the wisdom of man is the folly of God. God's ways are so much above our own. While some Jews and Gentiles waited for a King fit for human standards, a ruler who would cast off his enemies with great armies, others were ready to hear God's voice, however it were to appear. Mary accepted Jesus as he was. She followed God, no matter what her human mind may have told her. She opened herself to all possibility which God has revealed. Jesus, the Son of God, was born in the lowliest place, the feeding trough of animals. And Jesus suffered the most humiliating death, a crucifixion fit for criminals. As we wait for Christ to be born, we remember that true faith, hope, and love are not found in countless armies, but in the hearts of everyone, even the lowliest servant.

As we prepare for the coming of the Messiah, both his first and his next appearance, let us remember all those around us. Remember the lowly, for whatever you do to the least of your brethren, you do onto God.

No comments:

Post a Comment