Advent is a time of the year that confused me as a child. We’re getting ready for Jesus to come…but he actually already came! As I’ve grown up, I’ve come to a better understanding of the purpose of the Advent season.
The word advent itself means “to come” or “to arrive”. We can understand this in three senses.
The first: Jesus is coming! We are getting ready to celebrate His birth into our world! This is the celebration of Jesus becoming a human being. His becoming human elevates all of humanity above even the angels. God chose to be a person with a body, soul, and spirit, rather than becoming an angel, which is only pure spirit. This is a massive honor that He has bestowed upon us!
The second: Jesus is coming! He comes to us in visible signs every day in the sacraments. Every time we celebrate the Mass, we have a mini advent to prepare our hearts for His coming to us in the Eucharist. Receiving the Lord in this way helps us to become more like Him and prepares our hearts for the third advent.
The third: Jesus is coming! We profess in the creed that we believe that Jesus will come again in glory. All of our lives are spent getting ready for His second coming, because we do not know when it will happen. We must always be ready! We must never cease preparing our hearts for our Lord and Savior!
Here is a short prayer that you could pray every day to help prepare yourself for the coming of the Lord:
Jesus, I love you. Help me to be prepared for your coming—body, mind, heart and soul, without guilt on the day of your return. Amen.