The Challenge of Advent

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Advent reminds us of the days the Apostles spent in the “Upper Room,” where they prayed with one voice in hopeful anticipation of the Lord returning to them.

Even though they knew the Romans had nailed Him hands and feet to a cross like the worst kind of criminal, even though they feared the still-unsated vengeance of the Temple priests, in their hearts the Apostles knew that the Master they had followed for three years was indeed the Anointed One of God, the Messiah.

And return He did. His first words were of consolation and courage: “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)

The Western Church has observed Advent since perhaps the fifth or sixth century. We know it as a time of prayer and penance in anticipation of the arrival of the Lord—not as the resurrected King of the Universe, but as the infant born of humble Mary.

We are challenged by Advent to emulate the Apostles of the Upper Room—in our belief, unity and prayerful expectation of the arrival of the Infant King. Advent is a time when we can strengthen and demonstrate our faith, just as the Apostles did.

Our prayer today: Come, Lord Jesus.


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