November 24, 2015
While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”
This week, and then throughout Advent, the Church asks us to reflect on the reality of the second coming in our readings and liturgies. For me, Advent often ends up feeling like a rushed, hurried dive into Christmas, especially now that I'm back in grad school. And that can often become what our lives are like, heralding one false Messiah after another until we come to realize we haven't spent time on what truly counts.
Advent can be a great opportunity for us to refocus on prayer and cultivate a routine that brings us greater peace and joy during the holiday season. It gives us the opportunity to look at our lives against the backdrop of eternity and say, "How should I be spending my limited time here on earth?" Let's not even worry about the big-picture answer to that question, because none of us has all the answers yet. But little picture--what can I do with today? What gifts has God blessed me with today? With whom and how does He want me to share my love with others today?
As we prepare our hearts for Advent, let us allow ourselves time to contemplate Christ's coming among us as Man and what His future coming will bring. Let us thank God for the immense gift of the Incarnation and ask Him to shed His light on us that we may understand better what sort of response this gift entails from each of us.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!