Ah, the early days of Advent and a new liturgical year. There is so much anticipation in the air of the great upcoming feast, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Our Church is brimming with hope as we, her people – the Body of Christ – ready our hearts for the coming of the Lord Jesus at Christmas.
Advent serves a two-fold purpose for us. I just mentioned the first as a time of remembrance of Jesus’ birth at Christmas, but that’s not the only one. Advent is also a time for us to turn our hearts and prepare for His second coming at the end of time.
We see themes of hope and longing, repentance and preparation during this liturgical season. We celebrate a Sunday of joy in Gaudete Sunday. There is so much that the season of Advent can do for our spiritual lives if we fully embrace and enter into these next few weeks, and that could be its own separate blog post.
Let’s take a look at the theme of longing, though, through the eyes of today’s First Reading. The Book of the prophet Isaiah is laden with prophecies of the coming Messiah in addition to many words about how much the people of Israel long for said Messiah. With that being said, Isaiah is a frequent flier in the Mass readings during Advent and today’s First Reading is no different.
Everything that is spoken about in the First Reading points to Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. The mountain on which he “will destroy the veil that veils all people” and on which he “will destroy death forever” points toward Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified. The veil of the temple was indeed torn in two when Jesus became triumphant over death and opened the gates of Heaven for us all. It is that same crucified body that he offers us in the Eucharist – his whole Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – which points toward the feast of rich foods and choice wines. There is truly no better food for our souls than the Eucharist.
How can longing direct your Advent? Are you longing for consumerism, for the things of this world or are you longing for the Lord? How will you act on your longings? Turn them over to the Lord as you prepare your heart and make room for Jesus in this holy season.
Erin Madden is a Cleveland native and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is passionate about the Lord Jesus, all things college sports and telling stories and she is blessed enough to get paid for all three of her passions. You can catch her on old episodes of the Clarence & Peter Podcast on YouTube as well as follow her on Twitter@erinmadden2016.
Feature Image Credit: Robert Thiemann, https://unsplash.com/photos/qHVqCxmAWd0