Living the Gospel – December 15, 2019

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I really liked the way the 3 readings for this week conveyed a theme of anticipation. We start off with Isaiah describing the anticipation of our going home, of our being with God. We are in the wilderness now, in this life, separated, anticipating the time when we can be with God forever in heaven. We then move on to James who encourages us to be patient. We could choose to look at this and focus on what we do not have today, on what we lack. To focus on the suffering we must endure in this life. But I choose to focus on what is to come. Not the farmer waiting for the rains, waiting for his fruits to grow, but rather focusing on what will come, focusing on the promised fruit. Lastly, we hear from Matthew, who in turn is describing John who, even though he is in prison, is still waiting in anticipation for the “one who is to come.” Anticipation, waiting, patience. These seem to be words that can easily slip from our minds during this hectic time of year. It is all too easy to slip into the Black Friday, consumer, materialistic mentality that is thrust upon us everywhere we look while missing the reason for the season, Jesus. We spend countless hours looking online, waiting in store lines, and racking our brains for the perfect gift for our loved ones. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, we need to guard ourselves against making sure this isn’t the focus on this season, this Advent Season. This season of anticipation, of wonder, of expectation, of longing for being with our God, of being close to our savior. Christmas is a magical time of year, a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My prayer for myself and all of you this Advent season is that we don’t rush that celebration. We don’t wish it was here too quickly, that we wait patiently and enjoy the anticipation of the coming of our Lord. That we focus on Jesus this Advent season, on what his coming has meant for us, on what he did for us on the cross at Easter, on the special day when the virgin gave birth to a son and called him Immanuel. Think about it EVERY DAY, spend time reflecting on what he means to you, what he has done in your life, what it will be like to one day hear well done good and faithful servant. Wait in anticipation so when the day finally comes, it will truly be a day for celebration, a culmination of expectation resulting in overwhelming joy at the birth of our Lord and Savior. A day truly worthy of a King.

Pax Christi,