We have made it to another great season in the liturgical life of the Church, the season of Advent. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word advents, which means arrival or approach. This is very appropriate because the season of Advent is all about approaching and arriving at Christmas. Advent is a time of preparation, and it benefits our celebrations when we prepare for those important feasts. There are many moments in our lives when preparation is very helpful. We prepare for a new child, for a new relationship, for a new stage in our lives. These preparations can be both painful and joyful all at the same time, and yet what helps us navigate through them gracefully is remembering that these preparations lead to something truly beautiful and important. In many ways our entire life is a kind of preparation for eternity. What we want to avoid is thinking that this life we live is the real deal, the final gift, and all we get to experience. Mistaking preparation for the actual thing can lead to all sort of frustrations and disappointments. Like musicians who in preparation for their concert will practice countless times and anticipate many mistakes along the way, our life here on earth will be filled with mistakes and struggles precisely because it is preparation for the real thing. What keeps us going is realizing the truth of our preparatory reality today for the sake of fullness of joy in the celebration of Heaven. May this season of Advent be a time of growth and small improvements in the way we live and love, and a great lesson in patience and perseverance in how we live our life here on earth, a life of preparation, an Advent journey for the benefit of the Christmas of Heaven.
Fr. Wojtek Kuzma