The Season of Advent draws to a close very quickly this weekend as Christmas is on Monday. The name Advent itself means “the coming” of the Lord and of nothing less than our Lord and Savior. The very last line of the Bible cries out, “Come Lord Jesus!” The Lord wants us to anticipate nothing less than Himself.
As we approach Christmas with joy and faith and the days of our expectation, preparation, and anticipation end, we might ask ourselves on what are we waiting for? Yes, we await the feast of our faith with the celebration of Christmas. But more importantly we wait for Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh. We wait for His grace and mercy that surely comes into our lives. We wait for Him to answer our prayers, sure that He will, but unsure when, where, or how. We wait for reasons to explain and understand suffering, struggle, and worries. We wait for Him to call us to be with Him for all eternity.
And, lest we forget, the Lord Jesus waits for us! Yes Jesus waits for us to open up to His grace and mercy. Jesus waits for us to admit that, as a matter of fact, we do need a Savior! Jesus waits for us to admit that He is the answer to the questions our lives of searching pose. Jesus waits for our ultimate return to Him, for He “has gone to prepare a place for us.”
So on Christmas Eve we might ask ourselves, indeed what are we waiting for? But in reality our question should be, who have we been preparing to welcome this Holy Night? The Advent hymn
reminds of the one for whom we wait. It’s lyrics read: “Dear Savior, haste! Come, come to earth. Dispel the night and show your face, and bid us hail the dawn of grace. O come, Divine Messiah, the world in silence waits the day when hope shall sing its triumph, and sadness flee away!”
Yes, the Divine Messiah comes! In our waiting is the very arrival and deep down inside, cradled in our soul, where no one but the One who truly counts can detect, is again an empty manger where the Son of God wants to be re-born. So let us loudly acclaim “Come, Lord Jesus!” “Come Lord Jesus” into our lives and into our homes. “Come Lord Jesus” into our often cold and dark world! St. Augustine said: “What greater cause is there of the Lord’s coming than to show God’s love for us?”
On Christmas, the great feast of the Incarnation, we celebrate God’s love for us. With joy we celebrate the coming of our Messiah who dispelled the darkness of the world. With faith we welcome the Light of Christ that pierces the darkness of sin and sadness of our world and our lives. Yes, there are dark things wrong with our world, but the celebration of the Lord’s Nativity is even greater for that, since the Divine Light has come from Heaven, and “the darkness has never overcome it.”
The Incarnation of Christ is a central mystery of our Catholic faith. As the Advent Season quickly ends and the Feast of the Incarnation soon arrives, let us prayerfully meditate upon our God who humbled Himself to become one of us. Only then are we truly blessed to see how the humble and tender Christ Child born in a manger pulls us away from darkness and draws us into the light of His goodness, peace and love. For on Christmas we celebrate the reality that Jesus Christ, the God made Man, is truly real, present, and good! May He be ever more so to you and yours this Christmas.
In the name of Fr. Barrow, Fr. Connors, Deacon Dowd and myself, I offer our best wishes to all parishioners for a Holy Christmas Season. Be assured of our remembrance for you and your families as we offer Holy Mass on Christmas.
I extend Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Christmas Blessing to you and to all: “May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him who at this time became a little child, for our sake; more simple-minded, more humble, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.”