Happy First Sunday of Advent! Prepare yourself for the Coming of the Lord! Make yourself poor in some area of your life, especially the area that is taking you furthest from God!
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary.
I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor 1:3-9
Paul reminds us of the gifts God has given to us through the death and resurrection of His Son. In Baptism, we are not “lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ”. What are your spiritual gifts? We have the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Knowledge, Fortitude, Understanding, Counsel, Piety, Fear of the Lord. Take some time to study these and see which ones you closely relate to. By using these gifts with others we should see the fruits of the Spirit in our lives: charity, peace, joy, kindness, gentleness, patience, generosity, goodness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. We also have the gift of the Scriptures to know (Spiritual Gift) God’s plan of salvation for our souls. We cannot worship something we do not know, so I have found it important to make a daily habit of bringing myself to God and listening to what He is trying to tell me through the daily readings at Mass. With this knowledge, we recognize the gifts God has given us and that our life is a gift from Him. We then can humble ourselves before Him to be thankful and share the love and forgiveness He has for us with others. God is always faithful, are we faithful to Him? We are children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. Is there any greater gift? It depends on whether you know Him or not. We cannot recognize a gift if we do not understand or know who the Giver is. He made us for relationships. Work on a better relationship with God this Advent so you can recognize His gifts that He gave you. God has given us the gifts we need to get back to Him, we must recognize we have these gifts and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us to serve others.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” MK 13:33-37
Advent presents to us one of the two times on the Church calendar to step back and reflect on our spiritual life. By far the most difficult part of our being to try and improve. It is important to recognize how difficult it is to maintain a fruitful spiritual life, so we recognize how much we need God, a Savior, and that we are sinners who need His mercy (humility). Advent is a time of preparation for Jesus in His birth and His Second Coming. “We do not know the day the hour the Master will return, be ready!” MT 24:42 The priests will be wearing purple during Advent because it is a penitential season. What area of your spiritual life needs the most work? As I mentioned in the first reading, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit we received should show the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Take time in silence to reflect on what you are missing. Matthew Kelly calls them blind spots. Where is the Devil deceiving you in your life? It is usually something very subtle that might be causing a lack of peace in your life and one subtle change can bring amazing peace. Is it in prayer (lacking, not effective, not enough silence, no spiritual books lately, no Adoration, no daily Mass)? Is it in service (selfish, not helping others when we enter a room, expectations not reached from another, not grateful but complaining, lack of communication in relationships-the hard conversations, staying in our comfort zone, lack of spending time with those closest to us and doing whatever we want)? Don’t just give something up, but ask God what His dream is for you and get to work!
Be a servant, become a saint!
What is God’s dream for you? Ask and you shall receive!