The end of the Church year is fast upon us with just three days to go. Advent begins this Saturday evening ushering in a new year with a new season that breathes patient hope in a church expecting the return of Christ. Yes, he’s coming again, a reality that is both sobering, because it demands waking up and preparing for this encounter, and joyful, because it means life and love will have the last word.
And so the world as we know is going to come to an end, something which can’t be really surprising to anyone who reflects and prays. Many worlds come to an end: when a loved one dies, the end of a relationship, losing one’s job, changing vocations or careers, facing a difficult illness. The end of one world gradually gives birth to a new world. Yes, worlds come to an end, so must the whole world and its history come to a definitive end. But new heavens and a new world of eternal love will emerge.
Jesus is very clear in the gospels this week: be prepared, for the Lord will return when least expected. If we are asleep in apathy and self-centeredness, we will miss out and be left out. Of course, God doesn’t want us left out but included in this wonderful New World. However, just think how different it will be if we ARE wide awake and ready for the great return of Christ. The encounter will be unbelievably joyful and ecstatic because we will recognize Jesus as the long awaited Friend…the wait is ended, a new world is born.
Peace. Fr. Frank