Second Friday of Advent - Reflection

How Will You Prepare?

by Kristen Cunningham

The other day, a friend and I were pondering the question: “What if the second coming of Jesus was actually happening on December 25th?”  Would we prepare differently for Christmas?  Would we be running around quite as frantically to find Christmas gifts for friends and family? 

Yes, during this Advent season we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as an infant, but the church also points us to look forward toward the second coming of Christ.  Are we preparing our hearts to receive Him more fully, to allow him to be born in a new way into our lives?

Let us look to the way that Mary prepared for the birth of Christ.  Surely she prepared in many ways interiorly, but the primary thing the scriptures tell us about that time is that she traveled to help her cousin Elizabeth during her own pregnancy!  As we begin the Year of Mercy this week, Pope Francis has asked us to examine our own lives and reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offenses, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead” (Misericordiae Vultus).

How can you reach out this advent to those around you?  To show great love, faith, and sacrifice as Mary did in her time of waiting?  To bring Christ to people in need as she did for Elizabeth?  May your advent be a time of prayerful waiting and preparation!