For over all, the Lord’s glory will be shelter and protection:
shade from the parching heat of day,
refuge and cover from storm and rain. (Is 4:6)
Our lives are journeys. They are journeys with an incredible important destination: eternity.
When we were young, we used to look forward to journeys. They meant “vacation”, the doing of things not usually done and going to places not usually visited. They meant happiness and exploration, reunions and celebration, and, sometimes, a need to be flexible and allow our plans to be changed.
We embark on a journey at the beginning Advent. It is a journey to Christmas and the celebration therein. As Christians, we realize that Christmas is a two-fold celebration. It is a time to recall the coming of Christ in history and also a time to remember that Christ-child will come again in all of His glory at the end of time.
As with any journey, we need to be prepared for that time. Being caught unawares is not an acceptable option to anyone who truly believes.
That is why this season of Advent calls us to “beef up” our preparation. It challenges us to look at what we do and why we do it. It asks us if our motivations are pure and our hearts are in the right place.
This can be extremely difficult.
But, again, as people of faith, we realize that we do not have to do it alone. The Prophet Isaiah reminds us of that in today’s first reading. If we do all that we can to prepare ourselves, God’s glory will shelter and protect us. The work may be difficult. There may be things that we need to look at in our lives that are painful or uncomfortable. We do not have to examine them alone.
God is with us. He has always been with us. He has promised to be with us always.
The big question is, “Are we with God?”
FAITH ACTION: Any journey begins with preparation. This is the time to make those “New Year’s Resolutions” not only for Advent but for yourself throughout the upcoming year. Do you need to spend more time in prayer? Doing spiritual reading? Reconciling with someone in your life? Whatever needs to be done, make a plan to do it — as soon as possible.