In the beginning itself, of the new liturgical year, through the readings of the liturgy, we are greeted with hope and promises of justice, safety and salvation. They are gifts of the Messiah. Our attention is directed to the end – the goal. Like an athlete who runs a race concentrates on the finishing point, we are told to pay attention to the finishing point. In life, we have many goals, short time goals and long time goals. Both are important, and we make efforts to achieve those goals. For some, we have to wait hopefully. Waiting in hope is part and parcel of our life. Waiting does not mean we are wasting time in idleness. We are progressing towards the goal. Prophet Jeremiah (33: 14-16) encourages the community by giving messages of hope and comfort. It was very much needed for the people who were besieged and conquered by the neighboring nation (Babylon). It was necessary to continue their faith in God. The goal is not achieved without hardship. Such hardships should not make us desperate. Our firm hope will courageously lead us through difficulties to the goal.
Christians believe that Jesus fulfils the hopes spoken by Jeremiah. For Jesus’ followers, the day will bring redemption, not fear. This is possible when we follow his teachings and keep ourselves pure and eagerly wait for Christ’s return.
Advent is a time to intensify our effort to improve our performances, our relationship with God and people. While being thankful for all that the Lord has done for us, we pray for help to be more forgiving, more generous and more faithful. Jesus gives us another reason to work hard on strengthening our spiritual life. He warns his disciples that there will be difficult times ahead so pray for strength. It is our faith and hope that encourage us to go ahead overcoming difficulties. If not we will die of fright. Let this time of preparation be one that would really help us to overcome obstacles and meet Christ.
In Jesus” own words in today’s gospel (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36) the urgency of the preparation is emphasized, for your redemption is drawing near. Come, Lord Jesus.