Saturday, November 30, 2013

Advent: coming attractions

We all know that the best part of the movies, going to the movies,  are the previews.  Oh how I long for those 20 minutes in which we glimpse into the future of Cinema and what is awaiting on the horizon soon to be birth into our world on the "Big Screen."

Coming attractions attract, so it seems they are aptly named.

I love to sit in the theatre for those 20 minutes and allow my mind to take in these quick glimpses into what lies a head, hidden yet revealed.  These sights and sounds are captivating.

Of course, i love the previews because it gives me a heads up as to whether or not a movie will be worth my time.  The previews give just enough to wet the appetite or just enough to sour it.

Why not be in the know? Why not spend those 20 minutes taking a peek so that you won't waste 2 hours wishing you had went to another movie in the first place.

Coming attractions and previews are particularly insightful.  Even though they only give a little they can tell a lot.

Such is the case with the readings for Advent, especially the readings from Isaiah and the gospels.  The prophet along with Jesus gives us a bit of taste of coming attractions, a preview of sorts, a glimpse into the future of sights and sounds that fill the biggest screen of all, reality.

He gives us just enough, not too much and not too little, to wet our appetite and to keep us in the know.

Just like in the previews, we are told what to look for and when so Jesus gives us a glimpse of the attitude required to welcome the future events.  Jesus doesn't concern us with the nitty gritty details of exact times and dates because if we nail the attitude and live it daily in our life, it won't matter the time and place because we will be prepared regardless.

What is this attitude that we are meant to possess as we journey forth: wakefulness.

We must simply be alert and attentive ready to receive at a moments notice.

Perhaps this reading would be a great introduction to those 5 hour energy drinks or red bull or the like.

I can see it now, want be alert for second coming try our new energy drink, guaranteed to keep you alert and refreshed to meet the king of kings.

Jesus, fortunately for us, is speaking about being interiorly attentive and alert, recognizing in the midst of life unfolding his presence very near already.

It is an attitude of vigilant waiting, where we anticipate the coming of Christ daily in our life hidden behind every brush stroke of life we experience.

Pope Benedict put it this way…

"Our whole personal, familial and social existence passes through this dimension of waiting. Waiting is something that is present in a 1,000 situations, from the smallest and most banal to the most important, which draw us in completely and in the deepest way. 

Among these, we think of a husband and wife waiting for a child; of waiting for a relative or friend who is coming from far away to visit us; we think of a young person waiting to know his grade on a major exam or the outcome of a job interview; in romantic relationships, of waiting to meet the beloved person, of waiting for a letter, or of receiving forgiveness…

One could say that man is alive so long as he waits, so long as hope is alive in his heart. And man is able to recognize that what he waits for and what he hopes for discloses something about his moral and spiritual "stature."

What we wait for discloses something about our moral and spiritual stature!

This is what Advent opens us up to, a better glimpse into our selves that we may see who we are and how that aligns with who we were created to be.

What we wait for reveals something about ourselves. 

This is where advent begins; this is where we must be vigilant and attentive. This is where the pruning hooks that Isaiah speaks of will come in handy for us these four weeks. 

We must be more intentional in our waiting, in our lounging, in what we anticipate only then can we truly be ready for the coming of Christ daily in our life. 

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