Wednesday, December 5, 2007
This first week of Advent makes me think of what Karl Rahner, S.J. once wrote:
"The term 'advent' connotes not only an arrival, but also that which is yet to come. The very word itself expresses a strange interpenetration of the present and the future, of what now exists and what is yet to come, of possession and expectation. So too, in the liturgy of Advent, the present and the future of Christian salvation are mysteriously interwoven. The incarnation of the Word of God took place in the past and still continues in the present. Christ's return to judge all men and women and to complete his redeeming work is an event of the future, and yet he is constantly on the point of coming. The expectation of this return and the memorial of his entrance into the world are both celebrated in the liturgy."
That excerpt needs reflection as it captures what is the heart of Advent. Jesus is here, he is present now, he first came into the world over 2000 years ago and we celebrate that coming each Christmas; we also celebrate his coming into our daily life as he is present to us in so many ways and loves to dwell in our hearts; and then there is the coming at the end of time.
Advent is a season of hope. Let us rejoice in the coming of the Lord!