Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent 2018

It is hard to believe it is the first Sunday of Advent already! It is supposed to be a time of preparing for the coming of the Lord, but sometimes perhaps we spend more time preparing our homes than our hearts. We spend numerous hours putting up our tree, lights, and decorations and finding the right gift for everyone, but how are we preparing ourselves for the coming of Jesus?

The Gospel today exhorts us to be ready for the coming of our Redeemer at the end of times. Although we may not think of this future reality with great frequency, the Church gives us the season of Advent as a time to take stock of how we are doing, and make anxious preparation for the Savior.

But how are we to do that? In the second reading St. Paul instructs us to conduct ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to God, asking for his grace that our charity might increase; and with an increase of God’s love in our hearts, that we might abound in love for one another and for all people. In a special way, then, as we are buying gifts and food to celebrate the feast of the nativity of Christ with our families and friends, perhaps we might also take time this season to act more intentionally in showing love to others, especially those who are less fortunate than we are. This Advent let’s be ready to welcome the Lord by spending more time with him in prayer and by looking for Jesus in all of those whom we meet.