Advent prepares us for the coming of God into our lives and into the heart of the world. The familiar crib at Christmas is a sign, as St. Francis of Assisi initially desired, to remind us of the degree of humility God showed in sharing our humanity.From the earliest centuries the Church Fathers meditated on this mystery of the Incarnation. Our entire lives are transformed by this total proximity of God who became one of us. And yet each Advent we “await” once more His coming – reminded by the Scriptures to be on the alert: “Watch and pray” is the familiar text as the Church wisely reminds us of the clear and precise warning of Jesus himself.
To enter into Advent is an invitation to become vigilant, attentive to the tiny gestures, the small events which remind us that God is being born into our world daily – that His Kingdom is continually “coming”. This is counter cultural of course in our society today where everything is geared to reducing the waiting time for anything. Advent is, therefore, a gift to us – an invitation to take time once more to rediscover the fact that waiting in anticipation renews our desire for our encounters with God.
He has come. He is here. He will come again.