Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As the days grow cold and grey, the leaves fall from the trees, and frost sets in, we begin to see a similar shift in the Church’s liturgy. The shift is especially noticeable in the daily Masses, where each day the Scriptures remind us to prepare for our final end, for the coming Kingdom of God. The Church’s liturgical year is drawing to a close and we begin now to prepare for a sort of spiritual dormition. The Advent season, marked by preparation for the coming of Christ, is a time of rest that leads us to a new awakening as the dawn of Christ’s birth begins to shine in the world.
For now, we are preparing for that rest. The readings we hear at Mass indicate that the Lord is coming and we must be prepared to meet him. In a somewhat apocalyptic way, we are reminded of the stark choice before us: heaven or hell, sin or virtue, good or evil, eternity with God or eternity separated from him. Alongside this reminder is a roadmap. In the parable of the servants entrusted with talents, we see a program for ourselves. How am I to choose God every day and so be prepared to meet him when he calls me?
To each of us is entrusted certain gifts, talents, and responsibilities. We can be confidently ready to meet the Master when he returns if each day we put those gifts, talents, and responsibilities to good use. Those gifts, talents, and responsibilities are goods that God entrusts to us – using them will result in good things for ourselves, for our families, friends, and communities, and, ultimately, serve to glorify our heavenly Father. Are you using your gifts? Are you fulfilling your responsibilities? Are you exercising and developing your talents? If so, enter into the rest of Advent with confident peace. If not, today is the day to start! Now is the acceptable time! Each of us is called to a heavenly reward. Receiving that reward demands our preparation. Let us prepare and so be found ready when the Master comes!