The spirit of Advent is supposed to remind us that we have to be focused on our ultimate end while cruising in the shifting conditions of our earthly life. We are supposed to keep our eyes, mind and heart on our final destination which is to be with God in heaven, from whom we came and to whom we belong in a most intimate way.
Let’s remember that we are meant to be God’s image and likeness, and to share in his very own divine life for all eternity. For this, we have been given Christ, the son of God who became man to be our “way, truth and life.”
Yes, we need to follow Christ. In fact, we are supposed to identify ourselves with him to such an extent that we become, individually and collectively, “alter Christus,” another Christ.
Christ, of course, has already come, and did what he had to do to redeem us. He died on the cross, resurrected and ascended into heaven. But he continues to be with us in the Church, in the sacraments, and in endless other ways. He accompanies us in our earthly pilgrimage toward our heavenly definitive home with God.
These truths of our faith should be kept alive, and made to give us the proper impulses to keep us moving in this life, guiding and helping us as we go along. They are supposed to help us have the proper focus and sense of direction and purpose in our life.
But let us just remember that our earthly life can be described as a training and testing ground since through the different conditions and circumstances of our life, it is God through Christ in the Holy Spirit who is shaping us to be what he wants us to be—his image and likeness, his adopted children.
This is where we have to learn how to be properly focused but not rigid since in our life, there will always be things that are beyond our control and we just have to know how to deal with them.
We can only do that if we are with Christ who would show us how to be rightly focused while being flexible and resilient, knowing how to adapt to different situations without getting confused and lost.
We have to be wary of our tendency to do things simply on our own, relying mainly on our own powers that definitely cannot cope with the many challenges, not to mention, the mysteries in life that include supernatural realities. We need Christ to be properly focused but flexible and resilient, not rigid.
With Christ, what can be impossible for us can become possible. With our own selves alone, we can only tend to be rigid as we would like to impose our own ideas and ways on situations where, humanly speaking, it is not possible for us to handle properly. And, of course, the impossible remains impossible for us in the end.
It’s important that we follow closely the teaching and the example of Christ which definitely will include suffering, self-denial, carrying of the cross. We need to regard these things as our liberating factors in our life, and not just purely negative, painful elements.
And we can do that, to be sure, because of the grace God definitely gives us and of the spiritual aspect of our humanity that can handle the supernatural character of God’s grace.*