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Advent – The Waiting刊登日期: 2013.12.08
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父
Advent means “to come.” That also means having to wait for the coming - of Jesus. The Church uses the four weeks of Advent to simulate the time before Jesus came into the world. For all of that time since the creation, the people of the world have no idea that there is to be a Saviour. Even the fact that we need a savior is unknown to us. We only know that we need something, someone. Somehow, something, someone is missing. That is why all cultures and all religions had a hunger to know.
This “need” can be symbolized by the empty crib and the womb of the Blessed Mother.
In my parish, I like to have the manger scene set up early but totally empty. I like the emptiness of the crib. I would preach on the emptiness to symbolize the need. We are indeed poor because the world has yet to know Jesus. Pope John Paul told us that we were like lost sheep. Where are we going? What are we looking for?
The emptiness also symbolize i t s uselessness. A feeding trough without feed. A barn without animals. That’s the futility of the world itself. Until the birth of its saviour, it’s as if we have no sense of purpose. Our life is futile. There is no Heaven, no future, no hope.
Mary is with child, a child the world is waiting for.
Joseph is taking Mary and yet-to-be-born Jesus to Bethlehem.
The world is on the move. To where? No where.
The king of the world, Tiberius, wanted to know how many there were in his kingdom. He wanted a census. But none of it is really his to own. The King of the Universe is already on the way to claim all for the Father. No one knows.
This emptiness is hidden, disguised by busyness. Just like them, we are occupied by busyness of the season, presents to buy, end of year profits to make, accounting books to close to see how much we own or owe.
We pretend to be spiritual. We make Advent promises. We fill spiritual bouquets. Yet, all this time we are too busy to stop and look at the empty crib, our crib.
It is us who are empty. We are the earthen vessel of St. Paul. (2 Cor 4:7) Jesus wants to be the treasure. But we do not know we are empty.
We need to realize our emptiness without Jesus.
We are filled with trinkets of this world: ambitions, worthless possessions like a junk yard, anger, pride, envy, all the deadly sins that stifle the soul.
We need to clear them out, empty our soul to make room for Jesus. That is what Advent confession is for.
We also need to place our empty selves in the hands of Jesus at offertory.
Christmas is already here!
When we receive Holy Communion, it is Christmas, at every Mass.
Jesus wants us to be at Mass so that He can come to us.
He is the one who is waiting. He has been waiting, for us.
Before Mass, we need to thank Jesus for being able to make it to Mass. At Communion, we need to be thankful that we have met His hunger for us. We are sorry that we keep Him waiting in other parts of our lives. We still keep some doors closed to Him.
How long are we going to keep Him waiting?
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