Rev Fr Paul Lelen Haokip
Introduction: The foolishness of God is still better than the wisdom of human beings. Every year, you see Christians involved in the season of Advent in preparation of Christmas (birth of Jesus Christ). It sounds foolish for God to be born as a human being. This apparent foolishness is a divine wisdom incomprehensible by mere beings. Given the context of Fast Food, Immediate Gratification, Instant Solution, Fleeting Popularity, the ideas of waiting (Advent) may be unpalatable to some. But reality is always difficult to digest. We cannot but accept. Advent is not a time to celebrate so called Pre-Christmas or Advance Christmas or Advent Christmas. Rather, it is an intense time for personal spiritual preparation for Christmas. Advent is not a day but a season, so there is enough preparatory moment for participation in the coming event.
Why should Christian participate in advent: For those who want to seriously welcome the birth of a child usually prepare mentally, spiritually, materially, physically and financially. This kind of preparation can go a long way in celebrating an important day like 25th December. Anything important in life is always associated with meticulous preparation and reflection. If you happen to consider Christmas as one of the important events in your spiritual journey stop points, then Advent can deepen your faith and take you closer to the reality of religion. It will no longer just be a ritual but a personal spiritual journey to meet your God face-to-face. But if you still consider the ‘faces of some people more important’, then, this meeting of God face-to-face will just be your next option.
Hearing voices from within: Advent is a seasoned time wisely carved out from the liturgical calendar of the Church to quieten the external senses of human beings and lead us a step deeper into hearing the voices from within ourselves. We hear better when the external senses are quietened. But ‘the fear of the present time is to hear the inner voice’ itself. The truth of Christian life is – those who can listen and act according to their inner voice lead better lives, are happier and create positive waves everywhere they are. This interior wealth is difficult to acquire. But a time like ADVENT can offer us this extraordinary wealth if we are open for change and intervention of God.
Advent leads to Christmas: To achieve the real Joy of Christmas, we need to join the mission of Advent too. This mission of advent is tuning ourselves to the mind of God. This tuning is reflecting this way – “what I do now, is this the will and mind of the mission of Jesus?” If “YES” you can go ahead, if “NO” you need to change the course of your action before it is too late. It is a time of tuning our senses and orientations to begin a symphonic melody to join the angels and sing Christmas songs.
Conclusion: Advent is an anticipatory happiness of Christmas. It is not a time of sadness but a real time of rejoicing for being so sure of the coming of Jesus into our world (your life). You prepare yourself with clear vision of Christmas and form your personality into the heart of Jesus. Wishing you all a fruitful preparatory time! May your Joy at Christmas be genuine and lasting!
Rev Fr Paul Lelen Haokip