Are you prepared?

| Deacon Michael Nevin | December 4, 2017 | 0 Comments


As we draw ever closer to the great celebration of Christmas, many of us are busy preparing for the festivities that accompany such a great season of joy. The stores have been filled with holiday displays for months, front yards are resplendent with lights and decorations, and life is busy buying gifts for our loved ones.

With all the activity leading up to Christmas, it is easy to forget that the Church has set aside this liturgical season of Advent not only to prepare for Jesus’ first coming in Christmas, but also to renew our ardent desire for his second coming on the last day. The Church is asking us to reflect on a difficult question: Are we prepared for the return of Jesus Christ to judge the living and the dead?

The second Letter of St. Peter says that God has allowed a period of delay for his second coming because he is patient and “does not wish that any should perish, but all should come to repentance.” But after this time of patience, the Lord will come like a thief, and the heavens and the earth will pass away by fire, and all our conduct and secrets of our heart will be brought to light. Because we will be judged by how we responded to God’s grace in loving God and our neighbor, the Letter of St. Peter admonishes us to prepare for this judgment by “conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the Day of God.” Likewise, it says, “Be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.” Our eternal beatitude in heaven, or our eternal suffering in hell will depend on our preparedness for his glorious return when there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

The Gospel from St. Mark gives us a model of preparedness in the greatest of the prophets, St. John the Baptist. St. John was blessed with an encounter with Jesus and Mary before his birth, and this encounter with grace led him to a vocation to go out and preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins, making the world ready for the first coming of Jesus into the world.

Following this example, we are also called by our own vocation to holiness and our encounter with grace to humbly and boldly proclaim to the world that one mightier than we is coming.

May God renew in us this Advent the desire to pray, “Our Lord, come!” and find us prepared for his glorious coming.

Deacon Nevin was ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2010 and serves the parishes of St. Thomas the Apostle in Corcoran and Sts. Peter and Paul in Loretto. He also works with the Institute of Diaconate Formation at the St. Paul Seminary School
of Divinity and serves the archdiocesan Office of Worship.

Sunday, Dec, 10
Second Sunday of Advent

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Category: Sunday Scriptures