Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"The Lord cometh..."

Today is the first of December. For many in our society, this is the first possible moment to start looking forward to Christmas. Of course many homes (and more stores) have had holiday decorations lit for two weeks or more at this point. So, if we wonder where we should stand on the debate over how soon is too soon, we Catholics have no problem: there's an answer for that!

This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent - the season of expectation before Christmas. During Advent, the Church reminds us that we celebrate a two-fold expectation. On one hand, we await the celebration of Christ's nativity at Christmas on December 25th. But on the other hand, there is a much more mystical expectation as we await the Second Coming of our Lord. Notice the Mass readings during this time of the Church calendar. They speak of preparedness and keeping watch for coming Lord.

As we hustle and bustle to prepare to celebrate Christmas, let's not lose sight of the fact that Christ is coming again. Let us earnestly pray the prayer of the early Church: Maranatha! ("Lord, come!"). And take to heart the words of our Savior who warned us to "keep watch! For you do not know the day nor the hour of my return." (Mt. 25:13).