Monday, December 23, 2013

Advent

“All powerful God, increaser our strength for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome of His coming and call us to His side in the Kingdom…”

Cited above is the formal opening prayer at the start of the Advent Season. The time of Advent is dedicated to a threefold agenda: One, the remembrance that sometime soon, the birth anniversary of Christ, the Son of God, is about to come. Two, the preparation for the birthday anniversary of Christ is properly done by repentance for the wrong done and the good that remained undone. Three, the readiness to welcome His Coming – Advent   is better expressed by loving God and by serving people.

The above quoted official Opening Prayer for the Season of Advent clearly says everything that is timely for Christians to address to God Himself. We believe that He is “powerful” such that He enabled Christ to become a man – something that is beyond not only human competence but also human comprehension as well. There is a need for “strength” on our part specifically for “doing good” – considering that it is easier to do wrong than to do what is right. It is in our doing good that truly gives Christ an “eager welcome” as He comes as a Man. And after all is said and done, there is something that is in turn waiting to welcome us when we depart from the life to the hereafter and beyond, viz., the heavenly “Kingdom”.

It is good to have Christmas lights, to sing Christmas songs, and to give Christmas gifts. When Christ was born, there was a big star lighting the way of the Magi to the birthplace of Christ. So, too, did the angels sing with joy on the occasion of His birth as Baby Jesus. And so, too, did the Magi brought gifts for the newly born Christ on the occasion of His birthday.

But above all, as we prepare for the Advent or coming of Christ, would that we remember to help the poor, to go to the assistance of the oppressed, to make our community a better place to live in by being an active agent of truth, justice, and peace therein. This is not saying that we do nothing for our own selves – but rather not to forget doing well for others only because we do too much for our own selves.

In the last analysis, to welcome the advent of Christ in effect means to accept His teachings, to observe His Commandments and to wherefore as live as true Christians – in words and deeds. Let us pray for the repose of all those who are no longer here to celebrate this Advent. Let us pray for ourselves, too, just in case we, too, are no longer around the next Advent for whatever moral cause.