Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent and Repentance

Christmas is right around the corner. The season of Advent draws short, for soon we shall celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We all know that Advent is a season of anticipation. We look back to that night when God became Man, and the whole of Creation was turned right-side-up. And we look to the future, when that Man Whom is God shall return again.

It is also a season of repentance. The call of Our Emmanuel, and his Forerunner, still ring out- "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!" We must repent, for it for our sins that Christ died. We must repent of the sins which we have, and will, commit.

The Sweet Lord was born in a manger. The Highest of All was laid low, and placed into a feeding trough. Even Jesus' first moments after being born were filled with humility.

Even as Jesus was given a humble manger to rest in, so too must we prepare our hearts to receive Him. In humility we must confess unto God all our failings, that we might present Christ our hearts as thrones.

So often, we do not confess our sins. So often we clothe ourselves in fig leaves and hide our shame. So often, we present a sacrifice that is not our best. So often, we present a court that has not been cleaned. And so the list goes on.

But we needn't fear. For Jesus has come for such people.

Jesus has come that we might be purified and washed, our sins blotted out.

Jesus has come, clothed in humanity, to clothe us in His divinity; He wraps the mantle of salvation around us.

Jesus has come, to present the perfect sacrifice- Himself. In Him, we can present a pure and pleasing sacrifice unto the Father- ourselves.

Jesus has come to cleanse our hearts and to make us His living temple, filled with the Holy Spirit.

Hear the voice of the Baptist, crying in the wilderness: "Prepare ye the way of the LORD! Make a straight highway for Him!"

Hear the voice of the Blessed Virgin, saying: "Do whatever He tell you to."

Hear the voice of the people, crying out: "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!"

Hear the voice of Jesus, saying: "Your sins are forgiven."

Grant us, O Lord, true contrition, that with tears of repentance we might confess unto our sins. For You are faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Have mercy on us poor sinners, Lord Jesus. We magnify Your Incarnation, O Christ. By Your Incarnation You have brought Light into the darkness; by Your Incarnation, save Your despairing people!