First Sunday of Advent
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“You must be prepared.” Like the Kingdom of God, like the Sacred Heart of Jesus, like an intimate relationship with God and with his Holy Family, Advent is a sacred time and a holy season we must enter into and pray for the grace that Advent may graciously enter into our hearts, our homes, our schools, our workplaces and our families. Advent draws us and calls us to be still and to enter into that quiet place inside of us reserved for God.  Are you truly ready to welcome your King and the gift of healing and peace his presence brings? Can you imagine Mary and Joseph not having a place to welcome the newborn king? Can you imagine your heart as a home, a place of prayer, an altar, a manger? Our imagination is such a precious tool. We could use our spiritual imagination to imagine the scenes of scripture.  What it was like, who was there, what they said, what they experienced. By using our spiritual imagination, we can be with God and God can be with us in every situation. We can see and experience where God is acting in our lives and how his hand is guiding us. We can imagine what God’s beauty is like, what the people in Jesus’ time experienced, what heaven must look like.  This brings me peace. Imagine God as a potter and we are clay. What good is clay on its own? What can it do on its own? What can it create on its own? Nothing. It will dry, crack and be good for nothing. However, in the hands of God, in the hands of our Creator, all things are possible. Imagine this Advent being molded into a font to hold holy water or a dish that can feed the hungry or hold the Body of Christ. How about being molded into a cup to give water to the needy or a chalice to hold the precious Blood of Christ or being molded into the image of Christ in a manger or crucified on the Cross. All the beautiful possibilities if we would allow ourselves this season to be formed, shaped, and even chiseled into the precious and beautiful image we were created in.  Imagine being used for the purpose you were destined for, to love, welcome and serve our Lord in the depths of your heart and in the people you encounter in life. So pray and “be prepared for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

 

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