Dear friends, we usually see advent as a time of waiting, preparation, expectation… Israel awaits the messiah, Mary awaits her son, we await our Lord and savior.
Now could we think of advent from the perspective of God? As a time of God’s waiting, God’s expectation…Is he waiting? If he is waiting what is he waiting for?
The book of Genesis says that after the creation of human being, God used to come to visit human being (“Adam and Eve heard God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day”) and probably they loved that until one day they sinned. After the sin, the Bible records that Adam and Eve ran away and hid themselves from God when they heard His footsteps in the Garden. And God calls out to Adam and Eve eagerly: “where are you”? And eventually, we know, they forfeited their life in the Garden, also the closeness and daily encounter with the God.
Then onward God had been preparing for another encounter with human beings… He chose the patriarchs – Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses; then he sent the Judges and prophets – all for preparing for this encounter. And now the time has come, the long awaited time… God is in excitement, thrill… Probably God is waiting for this Christmas much more than any of us, to have an encounter.
The question pertinent at this moment would be the same question that was asked to Adam and Eve: “Where are you”?
One thing that we need to realize is: God, even if he is the creator and sustainer of the whole universe, cannot force us for this encounter. We have to freely choose him. Probably that is the greatness of God or we could also call ‘the weakness of God’: He cannot force us. As we hear in the book of Revelation 3:20 : “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” …but we have to open the door for him”?
Now how are we to welcome him?, or what is the attitude or the disposition we need to have for this encounter with God.
The first reading reminds us of the first basic attitude: acceptance of God as our creator and we as creatures. In the words of Isaiah: “O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter” (Isaiah 64:8). A humble acceptance of God as our maker and our dependency on God.
The second attitude we need to have is the acceptance of Christ. In the second reading St. Paul reminds the Corinthian community that: “God is faithful, and by him we are called to fellowship with his Son” (1 Cor.1: 9). We had gone away from God by our sins, now Jesus, the son of God is here with us, we need to accept him.
And the third attitude we need to have is a vigilant waiting for his final coming. And in the Gospel Jesus tells his disciples that they are to be watchful like a servant who is alert to the visit of his master (Mark 13: 33-34)”, because we do not know the time of His final arrival.
Thus dear friends, let this holy season of advent be a real time preparation for you and me to have an encounter with our Lord and savior who is eagerly waiting us. God has been preparing so much for this encounter, he is waiting in excitement, thrill and expectation… where are you?