Advent can easily become a neglected season. We can get so busy with our preparations for Christmas that Advent is quickly behind us.
Advent is meant to redirect our focus from shopping to stopping to consider God’s promises, yet to be fulfilled. Advent is more than waiting for another Christmas Day.
Advent is about each of us proclaiming and bringing Christ to a person, a people, a world who are part of our lives in simple and ordinary acts of compassion, mercy and justice.
Some of you may remember the story that Matt Kelly shared in his book “Rediscover Jesus” that many of you read last Lent.
Paul had just completed the biggest meeting of his life and could not wait to tell his wife and his boss. As he and his team rushed out of the NYC office building, they noticed a rare sight during rush hour: a vacant cab.
As the team ran toward the cab, eager to get their flight home, they inadvertently knocked over a small produce stand. No one seemed to see this, until Paul stopped and turned around to go back. One of the team called out to Paul, “Come on, you will miss your flight.”
“Go ahead without me”, Paul replied as he went back to help. As he neared the sidewalk covered with the fallen fruits and vegetables, he realized the woman behind the stand was blind. She was just there crying.
“It is ok, it’s ok”, said Paul as he picked up the fruits and vegetables.
There were a hundred people passing in every direction, but no one else stopped to help. They just scurried off to wherever they were going.
When the fruit was back up on the stand, organizing the fruits and vegetables and putting to the side those damaged. Paul also asked the lady if she was ok and through her tears nodded yes. He then reached into his wallet to “cover the damages.”
With that Paul turned and began to walk away.
“Sir,” the woman called to him. And as Paul turned toward her she asked, “Are you Jesus?”
“Oh no,” he replied.
The woman then continued, “I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me as I heard my fruits and vegetables falling all over the sidewalk.”
Paul turned to leave, got his taxi, and as “karma” would have it, missed his flight.
That night in an airport hotel gave Paul time to think. He could not get one question out of his head: “Are you Jesus?”
Advent, my friends, is that reminder that we are called to be part of the effort, the work of proclaiming and building the Kingdom of God, here on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Bringing Christ to a person, a people, a world who are part of our lives in simple and ordinary acts of compassion, mercy and justice.
And in doing so we do more than say Christ will come someday… we share that Christ is meant to come into our lives everyday – through us, his Faithful Disciples of today.