Sacerdos in Aeternum | Rev. Fr. Rommel M. Arcilla:

Advent: A Period of Devout and Expectant Delight

We are starting once again a new Liturgical Year in the Liturgical Calendar of the Church. It begins with the Season of Advent which is a time for joyful preparation while waiting for the coming of our savior as the Infant Child in the manger. We celebrate the season of advent every year with the usual happy and expectant mood. But the happiness that we feel is always centered on the gifts, on the gloss and glitter on the decorations, and the bright lights and booming sound of the pyrotechnics. We are expectant mostly of material things that we may receive as gifts on Christmas day.


Those in the government service and some other non-government employees are looking forward to the 13th month’s pay and a fat bonus for the excellent job that they might have done for the entire year. Children, in like manner, are now preparing a map on the addresses of their ninongs and ninangs. Some are now practicing Christmas carols so they will have some savings when the special day comes. Young and old alike are preparing for the Birth of the Infant Child but the preparation is centered mostly on the physical and the material aspects of preparation. Who cares about the spiritual aspect?


Every year we commemorate the Birth of Christ. Every year Christ wants to enter our lives, be present in us and grow in our lives. But after long years of our existence, Christ has never really entered our lives and up until now He is still knocking on the doors of our lives unceasingly wanting to be in us and be with us. It is us who always turn Him down. He has never been born in us, never been alive in us and He has not yet borne the fruits of the Paschal Mystery in us because of our lack of cooperation in His graces. Every year we celebrate His birth with so much joy and merry-making and with so much noise and laughter. But isn’t it that God speaks to us in the silence of our hearts?


The world is chaotic and so full of evil and some alarming negative things and mentalities. Even the sanctity of the family is not spared from these evils. I wonder what has gone wrong when the world was created, and all that is in it, is ordered precisely to give glory to God, the Creator. Who is to blame, or do we really have to blame others except ourselves?


We are in a season of preparation. The urgent need however is not the physical nor the material aspect of the preparation but the spiritual because it has been neglected ever since. Evidence is the fact that Christ is hardly seen on each one of us. God is still in the periphery of our lives and never at the center of it. Our spiritual preparation is supposed to be the top priority in the list of all our preparations and all other preparations pertaining to Christmas will be better than all the other Christmases that we had before. The physical aspect of Christmas will be brighter and merrier because it will be the concrete expression of the beauty and the peacefulness within us because Christ is finally present and alive in us. This is the challenge that we are faced with during this season of advent. All our preparations are dependent on our spiritual readiness to accept the Infant Child in us.


Let us make this advent season a meaningful one in our lives. We do not have much of the luxury of time to stay forever in this world. We do not know the time when we will sleep forever in our death. If the time for us to take on this challenge is not now, then maybe there is no other time. Advent is a time for preparation and so let us not waste that given time to make ourselves a worthy vessel of our Lord. Christ has given us a precious gift by His Paschal Mystery and now it is our turn to reciprocate that gesture by offering ourselves to him as gifts. By offering ourselves to Him we are in turn accepting Him as our Savior, our Lord, our God, our Friend, and our Everything.


Have a Blessed Advent Season!

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