I was actually toying on forging a word-expression while brooding over a nice springboard for this article. That word is “adventually” – an abbreviated, or rather, a coined exclamatory outburst of amazement upon realizing how time flies real swiftly, and that here we are once again in the Season of Advent.
So, it is! Today officially starts the Season of Advent: a new beginning for the Liturgical Calendar of the Church; a delightful welcome to another cycle for the Liturgical Life of every baptized Christian. Indeed, Happy New Year to all!
When seasons change, people change… eventually and hopefully for the better. We hear this from the optimists among us. But how about the pessimists? Ah, they always see so many defects, hence, too many things to change. They’re only good at taking off. They cannot even touchdown. Or if ever they can, just a tad bit.
Now, Advent is not just about ushering in a joyous, sort of euphoric, and even the so-called “eatingest” season of the year called Christmas. It is all about tidying up the topsy-turvy little and spacious nooks in our homes, and hearts most especially.
This season brings us into an act of not just trimming symbolic trees, but to an awareness that makes us realize about the need to trim down the overgrown hedges of ourselves. Just as during Autumn the leaves, after changing hues start to fall off from the branches unto the ground, we are likewise called to imitate thus, putting aside each other’s differences and strive our very best to bare our vulnerabilities – humbly for good, or even beyond good. The best part in all this, however, is being able to bear the pain of making such a change through and through, even if slowly, yet surely. Because such pain brings joy.
So, for those who have faith and continue to persevere despite all the many odds and ends, there is so much to hope for. The Prophet Isaiah meant that in the “beating of swords into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks” (2:4). For Advent is also about peace on earth and goodwill to all peoples.
Furthermore, Advent views the imminent judgment for everyone: “Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and the other will be left” (Matthew 4:40-41). Consequently, during Advent we are challenged to confront life’s realities and its fleetingness. That is why this season is for vigilance and prayer, watchfulness and preparedness.
Our Christian life and calling essentially demands doing and acting upon the message of salvation knowing that there is such an appropriate time for judgment. “And do this because you know the time… wake from sleep… cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light… our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 13:11-12,14).
Still, the keyword is “change.” All seasons eventually offer significant moments and chances for change.
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