Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent.
From the Latin word adventus meaning "coming."
Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ.
So what does that mean for us?
It means that advent has two meanings - a reminder of the period of anticipation of the original birth of Jesus Christ and a second meaning of the current anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ.
Advent is for us. It is for you.
A reminder of what has happened and a reminder of what is to happen.
And in this period of waiting for the "coming" - a question. Are you ready?
How are you living your life? When our Lord returns for final judgement, how will you be judged?
In this weeks reading - the warning is explicit. The Gospel in Matthew 24:37-44 tells us:
"Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
None of us know how much time we have just like we do not know the hour that our Lord will return. So we should use our time wisely.
The number 40 is important in the Bible as a period of waiting or examination. Jesus was led into the desert to be tempted for 40 days by the devil. Other examples abound.
Forty days after the birth, Jesus was presented to the Temple of Jerusalem for his legal purification, according to the established law.
The 40 days of fast of Jesus in the desert. (Mt 4,2)
Forty days separate the Ascension of Jesus of his Resurrection. (Act 1,3)
The Flood of Noah lasted 40 days. (Gn 7,4)
Elijah walked 40 days and 40 nights before to reach the Horeb mount. He fasted during 40 days before to begin his public ministry and he remained 40 days on the Carmel mount. (1 K 19,8)
The priest Eli had been judge of Israel for 40 years. (1 S 4,18)
Moses was 40 years old when he was called by God and that he killed an Egyptian, and escaped in the desert of Midian. He kept the herd of Jethro during 40 years. He resided finally 40 days and 40 nights to the summit of the mount Sinai before to receive the Tables of the Law. (Ex 24,18)
During 40 day Goliath defied David.
The children of Israel lived during 40 years in the constraint with the Philistines. (Jg 13, 1)
The Hebrews wandered 40 years in the desert. (Nb 32,13)
The reign of Joash lasted 40 years in Jerusalem. (2 Ch 24,1)
The people of Nineveh had to repent during 40 days. (Jon 3,4)
Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. (Gn 25,20)
The embalming of Jacob was prolonged during 40 days. (Gn 50,3)
The reign of David on Israel lasted 40 years, just as the reign of Solomon in Jerusalem. (1 K 2,11 and 11,42; 2 Ch 9,30)
Ezekiel supported the iniquity of the house of Juda during 40 days.
The 40 emissaries of Canaan.
The 40 years of repentance of Adam after his corrupt practice.
Forty is the number of chapters of the book of the Exodus of the Old Testament.
So what does that mean for me?
These next 40 days of waiting can be as life changing and as profound as you want it to be. Are you ready to change your life to what it should be? Are you ready for an encounter with God?
Because God wants to meet with you. He is only waiting for an invitation from you to become a larger part of your life.
God is coming. That's what Advent is all about.
And perhaps the divine irony is that when we finally realize that we have been waiting for God and go to seek him we will find that He has been waiting for us.
Happy Advent! Let the journey begin again!