Praised Be Jesus!
Happy Advent to all of you, and I pray that this Advent may be a time of great preparation for the coming of Our Lord on Christmas and that He may be born anew in our hearts!
In the Byzantine Liturgy, there's a beautiful verse before receiving the Blessed Sacrament:
V. Approach with the fear of God and with faith.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. God the Lord has appeared to us.
It is good to remember as we celebrate Advent that we are in a time of preparing for the coming of the Christ Child, and ultimately the coming of Christ at the end of time. This time of the year, it is good to reflect upon the fact that for thousands of years, God remained hidden from His chosen people, veiled in mystery. The God of Abraham was a God without a visible form and whose name was simply "I AM", One whose face could never be looked upon or one would die.
This all changes with the coming of Jesus. The mysterious God who is far off and veiled in mystery draws near: Truly the Word has been made flesh. GOD THE LORD HAS APPEARED TO US!!! And God continues to appear to us, but do we recognize Him?
The first and very real way that God appears to us is in the Holy Eucharist; God descends upon the altar each and every day to be with us to enter into us and share our life with us in a very real and concrete way. Through the Eucharist we experience, like Mary, God living in us. The joy that should surround us when we receive Holy Communion is immense, and we should meditate on the grace that what is invincible has been made manifest to us in a very real way.
But even more so than the spiritual joy that we receive and the insight into the profound mystery of the Eucharist, Jesus appears in our very person. In the Eucharist, Christ is able to work through us to serve others; by the grace of the Sacrament, we become living monstrances. We make Christ apparent in the lives of others and share Him with those around us. By His grace, we make Him visible to others and serve them in our joy and share the graces we have received.
Christ also appears to us in our daily lives: He is in the midst of our trials and our joys, He is always there, and He wants us to realize that He is constantly appearing to us. May this Advent be a time when we meditate with Mary, the great mystery of God appearing to us in our lives.