Advent – An Invitation to Wait on God
On this First Sunday of Advent, the readings set for us a journey of faith, trust and hope. This season gives us a constant invitation to be awake, to wait, and to prepare ourselves, and to be alert as we are waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel reading ends with Christ Jesus telling us to “Stay awake.”
The word “wait” comes from the Hebrew ‘qavah’ which means enduring patiently in the confident hope that God will act decisively for the salvation of his people… Those who wait in true faith are renewed with strength so that they can continue to serve the Lord while looking for his saving work.”
Waiting for the LORD does not mean sitting back helplessly. St. Paul tells us “so in every way you have been enriched [in Christ] so you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 1:7). In other words, the Spirit of God is with you. God’s grace provides us the strength and energy to walk in confident expectation that God is with us.
Two things come to my mind as we prepare and wait for His coming during this pandemic:
First, the renewal of hearts and minds: ‘Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?’ (Isaiah 63:17). Today, Prophet Isaiah is reminding us through this prayer of penitence to amend our ways, renew our hearts and find favor in the presence of Creator. Mother Church incessantly encourages the faithful to renew and cultivate this ardent desire for his second coming: ‘When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming…” (CCC 524).
Second, some may feel that this novel virus has sucked our energy out, drained our confidence, and pushed us into deep dark despair. Know that advent invites us to renew our strength by remembering the marvelous deeds that God has done for all of us. “O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand”(Isaiah 64: 8).
With this in mind, let us look at our own life as we enter into this Advent Season. What is it that we hope for? What is it that we wait for?
May this season bring newness in our lives. May it bring strength and hope. May the prayer of Matthew Kelly resound in our hearts throughout this season: “God of hope, I look to you with an open heart and yearning spirit. During this Advent Season, I will keep alert and awake, listening for your word and keeping to your precepts. My hope is in you.”
By Vijay Deivanayagam, OMI – Vocation Contact Central