|Feature Article 1|
Advent Awaiting The Light
“Look, the virgin shall
conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him,
The season of Advent brings to us a new awakening of the spiritual senses; when the light of summer is fading into a darkness that will let us rest in the Spirit for a while as we look towards our ultimate intention in life, which is to enter into the Light of Christ. He will come again and we must be ready. The Advent season is a time when we listen to the prophets of old and hear the message that has been heralded throughout the centuries; “The Messiah is Coming”.
Who is the first prophet who lets us hear the clear sounds of the season? John the Baptist, whose mother was Elizabeth. Mary had traveled far to see her and be there when her baby arrived. Both women were with child, Mary had probably decided to go for a twofold purpose. It was a tradition that family members would travel to help with the birth of a new child. And also Mary had conceived Jesus before she was wed to Joseph. It would help to keep the event in the background for a while within the religious community.
As Mary arrived and greeted Elizabeth her child leaped within her womb and from this moment Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. We know that the Holy Spirit also anointed John for his ministry during this visit. He had a prophecy to fulfill through his birth and God blessed this union to assure that he would accomplish this intention. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states this was “a visit from God to His people”.
We can look at Advent as a time that we are in the “womb”, a darkness that soon will admit light as we are born again. As we see in the Gospels, John preached the likeness of being born again. He would give a baptism of repentance and Jesus would baptize in “water and the spirit”, which would become our baptism of salvation. That is how I see the wombs from which John and Jesus were born. They came from water and the spirit, and they had been born of God. God has a plan for each one of us. He may not have appeared in the sanctuary as he did to John’s father, and he may not have appeared in a dream as He did to Joseph, but each of us has a purpose in life and part of that purpose is our innate desire to know Jesus.
This time in the womb for John was a bridge between time, the Old Testament prophets and the Chosen One who will be the new Prophet for all time. It was also a time for God to anoint John as the “new Elijah” who was prophesied to arrive before the Chosen One. Jesus “The Prophet”– all that He said and did would be recorded for all time to come. It is all that we need to prepare a way to heaven for ourselves.
The prophesy of Isaiah is resounded in the next weeks of this wonderful retreat with the Holy Spirit, giving us the wisdom to reflect on our lives and reflect on the importance of why Jesus needed to become a part of our world, our lives and our future.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion — to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3
During the fourth week of Advent all prophesy is fulfilled. The Messiah is born: He is manifest in the human world by entering into our lives and history. These qualities of Jesus are also reflected in the prophetic gifts He receives from the Magi, which symbolize his kingship, priesthood and humanity
© Copyright 2001 Vickie Shepherd.
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© copyright 2001 eCatholic/2000
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