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Get Ready For Jesus

Don't let the season of Advent pass you by, says Gez Ford. As we continue through Advent, the Mass readings show us that the coming of the Infant King will be an exciting event. “Take off your dress of sorrow and distress, put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever,” says Baruch, whilst the Psalmist reminds us that “The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126:3) The preparatory theme continues with the voice of John the Baptist crying in the desert, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” (Luke 3:4) For most of us, preparations for the family element of the Christmas season come thick and fast. We often spend much of our Advent lost in the chaos of preparing for Christmas. It can all too quickly become about getting the house, tree, decorations and gifts ready.

If we are not careful, we will lose this special period and all the grace that comes with it. Prepare Our Hearts I am not suggesting all the aforementioned things are not important. I am simply saying we should take a moment to prepare our hearts, to take an inventory of what is happening with eager anticipation, to be rid of sadness and misery, and to harbour the joy that comes with the arrival of the Infant King. I know that there were many first-hand witnesses to John’s proclamation that were left more than a little uneasy by his later warnings of “Repent and believe”. Others, meanwhile, heeded these words and confidently yearned for the Messiah. As the Advent season progresses along, we might ask the question: which group do we belong to? I would like to state personally that I belong to both groups. While the Christmas music and decorations don the halls of our schools and bombard our senses in our stores, many of us remain excited about the coming King, and yet I wonder: how ready really am I?

A Time of Great Joy Whilst Advent is a penitential season, it is also a time of great joy and a time of anticipation. Jesus is finally coming to save us from our sins. It is, indeed, “from the cradle to the cross for the crown”-which, ultimately, is our hope and our aim. As we traverse this journey, let us look to the Baptist and take inventory of our lives. Let us repent of our past sins, so we might be better prepared to receive Him. Let us replicate the words of the first disciples when the Lord asks us the question: “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38) Then let us follow Him with confidence and, looking beyond the senses, fully turn to Him in expectant faith. Let us remember that “Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways be made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of our God.” (Luke 3:5-6) Finally, let us follow the example of the Blessed Mother and surrender ourselves totally to His will in all things and, like her, invite Him into our lives as we humbly say: Maranatha, come, Lord Jesus, come!

Gez Ford, originally from Manchester, now lives in New Jersey, USA, where he works as a youth minister. Share this 89 17 Google +1 0 Search See all results for FAMILY SOCIETY CULTURE FAITH & BELIEF


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