The holy season of Advent invites us to prayerfully reflect and mediation on the Word of God as we prepare for Christ’s coming in glory at the end of time, and, to joyfully celebrate His first coming in the mystery of the Incarnation at Christmas.
One of the symbols of this season is the Advent wreath with four candles that represent faith, hope, love, and joy as we draw near to the Light of our salvation, Jesus Christ. Living those virtues everyday helps us prepare for the Lord and brings His light to our world.
We live in a world that measures everything, even human beings, and assigns a marketable label such as good or bad, success or failure, valuable or not valuable. As we walk through the darkness of this Advent, we hear the words of the prophets like Isaiah, Micah, and John the Baptist, calling us to prepare the way of the Lord. Our preparation can and should take concrete steps of examining our conscience, reviewing our thoughts, words, and actions, to see if we are walking toward the Light of Christ’s love or are we remaining in the darkness of sinful behaviors and patterns.
The Christmas Gospel is a story of God’s extravagant love for us that dispels the darkness of our weak and broken human nature and fills us with the light and warmth of God’s love-a love that never given up on us. Reflecting on God’s enduring love for us can inspire us to be like Him–to never give up on those family members, relatives, friends, and co-workers that seem to work on our last nerve, or for some reason have become indifferent and cold to faith, Church, and God. Being more loving to them may be the very impulse they need to turn their lives around.
During the remaining days of Advent, let us turn to Mary, who is the Immaculate Conception. She, who was conceived without sin, can help us strive to stay sin less by learning from her example, humility, and faith.
Mary gave her “fiat,” her “yes” to the Angel Gabriel because her whole life was founded on saying yes to God by her fidelity to the Commandments, and in saying yes to the small, everyday situations of her life.
Called to be missionary disciples of Jesus, we can imitate Mary in her love of God, in her trusting hope of God’s promises, in her obedient faith, and in her generous service to others, especially her cousin Elizabeth.
As Our Lord revealed to Elizabeth Kindelmann, through the Flame of Love of the Blessed Virgin Mary, faith will take root in souls and the face of the earth will be renewed, because “nothing like it has happened ever since the word became Flesh.” The renewal of the earth, although flooded with suffering, will come about by the power of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.
Make the best of these remaining days of Advent, so that Christ may find a warm place in our hearts to dwell as Emmanuel- God-with-us!