We’ve spent the four weeks of Advent in preparation to remember and celebrate the birth of a child. Now that the holiday has been enjoyed, we are tempted to go back to our normal routines as we usher in 2016.
Our Sunday Gospel reading in Luke 2 rushes us forward when Jesus is already twelve years old and stays in Jerusalem after the Passover Festival after his family has left. We read in verse 52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.”
This reading is a reminder that our entire life is lived in preparation for the next coming of Christ when we will be reunited with him once again.
Unlike Christmas which we mark on our calendars each year, we don’t know when Christ will return. In Mark 13:32, we read "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
With the uncertainty of the time of the second coming, we must live our life fully in preparation for the time we will see Christ again.
My conversation with God will not be one of judgment and scorn but instead a warm discourse with an old, dear friend.
“My dear one, pull up a chair and sit with me for awhile. The last time I saw you face to face was the day you were born, when I cast you out into the world. I have many questions for you, so plan to stay awhile.
What did you do with the spiritual gifts I gave you?
Were you a good steward of my money?
How long did it take you to know my forgiveness?
Did you recognize me in the brushstrokes of Goya and Rembrandt?
Did you hear my voice in the notes of Mozart?
Did you see me in the night sky, gazing at the moon with you?
Did you recognize me in the flowers in the wilderness?
Did you see me in the smile of the newborn baby and the thankful gaze of the homeless man?”
Of course, God will already know the answers to all his questions, but like an old friend, he is more interested in my answers than what he already knows.
“My child, I have been with you all along.”
May 2016 be a time of preparation for you.