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At its core, Advent is a time of waiting for God’s coming. Each time we enter into and celebrate Advent season, we are reminded that Jesus, the Son of God, has come to us, including to those who do not recognise and receive Him. Still there are those who believed and received Him (Jn 1:10-13). Nonetheless, God is faithful to His plan of love and salvation and He dwells among us and is with us (Mt 28:20; Jn 1:14). Therefore we must continue to be caught up in His Presence.
Are we confident of, and do we believe in, God’s plan of salvation for us? This is a challenge for us Christians. We are grateful to God for the opportunity to celebrate the Year of Mercy in 2016. I believe, to some extent, it has increased our perception of God who is merciful and that He sent His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (Jn 3:16). Advent is a graced season for us to refocus on our purpose and source of life; that is, Jesus, who reveals the face of the merciful Father.
The world today, as we all know, is pounded by evil and confusion. What we want and dream of is a life governed by justice, peace and joy. God without humanity is still God, but humanity without God in its life will result in evil and confusion.
In this season of Advent, we need to use this time to prepare ourselves, our family and our community to receive Jesus so that He may fill our lives with His joy. Throughout Advent, let us make greater effort to unite ourselves with Him every day, faithful in prayer, remaining in His presence in silence, and having the grace of a repentant heart.
In this season, the world, the shopping malls … they are preparing for Christmas and New Year in their own way. But for us, we need to ask ourselves, are we faithful, in this season of Advent, in fully participating in the preparation put forward by the Church?
Blessed Advent. – Bp Cornelius Piong, Keningau Diocese