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Use Advent to get ready for Jesus’ coming

Based on Is 2:1-5; Rom 13:11-14; Mt 24:37-44

Looking backward and forward. Waiting, watching, praying and being ready.

This Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, is the start of the church’s new liturgical year. The word “advent” means coming. The four Sundays before Christmas comprise Advent that ends on Christmas Day. It’s a joyful time of preparation for Christmas, the first coming of Jesus as a baby in Bethlehem.

Advent also tells us that Jesus comes into our lives every day. When we go to Mass, when we receive holy Communion, when we receive the other sacraments, when we pray, when we read the Scriptures, when we are loving, kind, forgiving and share with others, when we see the beauty of nature in the changing seasons, when others are kind and helpful to us, Jesus is reborn in our hearts.

Advent also reminds us that our earthly world will not last forever. At the end of time, Jesus will come in power and glory to bring us home with him in heaven. He tells us not to be afraid but to be ready at all times because only God the Father knows when Jesus’ final coming will take place.

The three comings of Jesus – past, present and future – have one purpose: to deepen our relationship and friendship with God. Jesus wants to live in our hearts. We need to make sure there is some “room in the inn.”

Use Advent to get ready for Jesus’ coming:

• Get away from the noisy world around you and daily set aside quiet time for prayer and reading the Bible.

• Give non-perishable foods to your parish’s food pantry.

• Go through your closet and toy box for usable clothes, toys and books you can donate to St. Vincent de Paul stores.

• Pray the rosary for world peace, thinking about the events in Jesus’ life.

• Get your heart ready for Jesus by receiving the sacrament of reconciliation.

Be watchful, looking for Jesus in others and the world around us. Be prayerful, good, forgiving and loving. “Come, Lord Jesus!”