Jesus comes every day. Are we ready to welcome Him?
Sunday, December 1, 2019 - First Sunday of Advent, Year A
This Sunday the Church enters the season of Advent, which means “coming”. What coming are we celebrating? Certainly with Christmas just a few weeks away, we are preparing ourselves for the coming of God into our world as a tiny baby, born 2000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem. But there are two other “comings” that we celebrate, too.
The second coming is the return of Jesus in glory at the end of time. That’s what this Sunday’s Gospel speaks to us about, saying, “Stay awake and be prepared because at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” This could seem gloomy or nerve-wracking, but in reality it is meant to fill us with encouragement and hope. Jesus is motivating us not to wait till tomorrow or the next day but to be the people we want to be here and now, to start living the life we want to live today and not in some distant future. He urges us not to delay in being good to one another, actively caring for the poor, praying a little more, and living more positively. Jesus doesn’t just want us to live as God wants tomorrow. He wants us to live God’s dream for our lives TODAY.
This is where the third coming of Jesus happens: today. Between His first coming as a baby in Bethlehem and His second coming in glory at the end of time is His third coming, gently, peacefully, but truly and surely, in our midst every day. Jesus comes to us in our friend in the hospital, in our annoying coworker, in our noisy neighbour, in our demanding boss. Jesus also comes to us in the love of our family, an act of kindness towards a stranger, the comfort of a Christmas carol, the thoughtfulness of gift-giving, and the joy of coming together.
So as we prepare to celebrate once again this year the coming of the Child Jesus at Christmas, and as we prepare for his second ultimate coming at the end of time, let’s take time to notice how Jesus wants to come to us in this third coming that we can so often miss: here and now, in the busyness and in the stillness of our everyday lives. Jesus is coming to see you this week, are you ready to welcome Him?
Julian Paparella has contributed to Salt + Light Media since 2012. He served as an intern for many summers and currently studies theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris.