Aleteia

In Advent, why are we waiting for something that already happened?

CHRISTMAS
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It’s really a season to go deeper and to start over.

The new liturgical year has begun — Advent is here! It always comes back to remind us that Christmas is coming and it is time to prepare. During this season we always hear the same tune: Advent is a time of waiting, etc. But we all know Jesus has already come so what is the point of Advent?

Waiting for a birth that has already happened

We are awaiting the return of Christ, yes, in glory, on the Day of Judgment – the day we will all rise inside our bodies together with Him. Waiting for a day like this one makes sense – it marks our future and our hope. However, how come we have to wait for a birth that has already happened?

Jesus precedes us in everything. From a liturgical standpoint, if there is something we should be awaiting, it is to receive the graces Jesus offers to all of us as a new year unfolds and we are able to re-experience what He has already lived. This waiting period is educational and theatrical, commemorating the mysteries and celebrating the stages of our salvation. It is a waiting period that places us in the presence of the One who comes daily to offer us His grace. He is the door.  

Advent is not so much a waiting period but an occasion to start over

Like children who love to open a new book, the life of prayer requires some pace and a departure point. We don’t need to go through the motions, but to go deeper in carefully listening to the magnificent passages from the Gospel read during this season. Throughout Advent we can go through them and “bring them back” to our minds during the week. 

Brother Thierry-Dominique Humbrech

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