It’s hard to believe, but Advent is less than two weeks away. Advent is a time of preparation, where we ready our hearts for the coming of Christ. It is a time in which we are grateful that Christ was born into our broken world, and when we are reminded that He will come again. It is a time of hope, and couldn’t we all use some hope these days?
Bishop Wack said, “This is a grace-filled time, this time between Christ’s first and second coming. This is the time of great mercy when He allows us, as often as we want, to go back to Him, to accept His grace and mercy, to receive His forgiveness through Confession, and to be strengthened by His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist.”
In preparing for the holiday season, many of us are preoccupied with the shopping and the gifts, but Bishop Wack encouraged listeners to focus on the spiritual gifts that we are blessed to have at this time in history. Those who were awaiting the Messiah before Christ’s birth did not have the Eucharist, did not have Confession, did not have the freedom from Original Sin that we have through our Baptism. Bishop Wack pointed out that these are gifts that we should be particularly mindful of during the Advent season.
“In Scripture you see Jesus and others say be careful that you do not lose the gift that God is giving to you,” he said. “So it’s a reminder to hold onto that and to cultivate this gift of forgiveness and grace now, and eternal life in the end. It’s something that we need to reflect on, think about, and orient ourselves toward.”
Advent is a time of hope and longing. And it is also a time of joy. In the popular Christmas song “O Holy Night” we sing, “A thrill of hope! The weary world rejoices!” Just as that hope and rejoicing capture the spirit of Advent and Christmas, it also speaks to what the future holds when Christ comes again.
“Our soul will almost burst with joy when Jesus comes,” Bishop Wack said. “We will want nothing else than to go with Him, to be purified, to be made clean. It’s not as if it is a day to be feared, but it is something we pray for. We do it at every Mass, we say we ‘wait in blessed hope for the coming of the Lord.’ So it’s not something to terrify us at all, in any way, but to fill us with great joy, and expectation, and longing for His coming.”
Listen to the full conversation with Bishop Bill Wack below:
If you are looking for a way to prepare your heart for Christ’s coming during the Advent season, then Father Rocky’s Advent Inspirations are for you! Advent Inspirations are short, daily audio reflections designed to help you delve into the beauty of this season. These reflections are sent to your inbox each morning and are sure to bring a smile to your face and give you something to ponder as you go about your day. The first Advent Inspiration will be sent out on Sunday, November 29, so sign-up now to have them all delivered right to your inbox.