Advent, Our Chance to Await The Beauty of Jesus’ Coming
December 7, 2017

By Father Manuel Gomez

A few years ago, I was driving along the Rock River, from Rockford to Sterling, I went through Byron, Oregon, Dixon, and all these villages along the river. As I was driving and watching the landscape I felt thrilled. I thought, “What a beautiful scene!” 
That landscape made me feel moved because of its beauty, though it was the middle of winter. 
Then I was reflecting. “Why,” I said, “is this place beautiful?” 
I told myself, “Look around you! There are no leaves on the trees, all the bushes seem to be dead. The water on the river is frozen, no running water at all. The weather is cold, and the colors and sunlight are limited to a gray scale.” 
Such an image may be anything but beautiful. 
Then, why did I feel moved by it? “Why,” I thought, “was it a beautiful scene?” 
I thought it was beautiful because I have the experience of spring and summer. My mind knows that the integration of all these elements — mountain, river, trees, etc. — would become a beautiful landscape during the spring and summer seasons. 
It wasn’t beautiful yet, but it made me feel joyful because I know it will be beautiful. 
I think something similar happens during our Advent season. The beauty and the joy experienced during this time is not because of Advent itself, but because of the coming of Jesus. It is a joyful expectation. 
Jesus gives meaning to Advent. This expectation sometimes will imply some sacrifices, and changes in the way we live.
Mark, in the Gospel of the second Sunday of Advent, says that “John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” 
John says, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.” 
In fact, Advent includes a personal and continual conversion as a preparation to receive the Lord.
As we continue our preparation in this holy season of Advent to receive the Lord, let us to look at our lives and see what things may be better done in our lives, and what new things we may include. 
I can think of some suggestions: 
– Reading the Bible more often;
– Going to confession, especially if we have not gone in a long time, 
– Scheduling ourselves for a visit to a perpetual adoration chapel.