During the four weeks of Advent leading up to the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, students of the Scots College will be preparing reflections as we prepare for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. The first one comes from Andrew McGowan, from the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
Advent is the time of year when we prepare ourselves for Christmas, the word itself means “The arrival of a notable person or thing.” We are preparing for the celebration of the arrival of Jesus as a baby, a human being, who took on our human nature in all but sin. Sharing in our humanity from the moment of his conception, he lived on this earth and died here, sharing that experience. In his acceptance, he destroyed the power of death forever, rising from the dead, enabling him to share with us, His Resurrection. So yeah, he’s a notable person!
In this day and age, when a notable pop star or comedian announces concerts or gigs there is always a rush to get hands on the show tickets. The arrival of the Messiah has been announced and waited for, for a long time, so now it is within touching distance we may be tempted to rush the big day’s arrival. Instead, this week, the readings have been counselling on just the opposite.
Note in that definition of Advent the word, ‘prepare’. We have to take this time to do that, to prepare for the arrival of the Messiah. That time requires us to turn our outlook from one absorbed in ourselves to focus on what is ahead of us, on who is ahead of us, Jesus, and all that he stands for. If you are wondering what that is, then look at the readings from the First Monday of Advent, when Isaiah provides a future where peace reigns, no wars are fought or terrorism inflicted on innocent civilians, where bitterness is a thing of the past. Where, as the Gospel says, all is possible, because God became a man to redeem us and that same God is with us.