The last few days I have not been feeling well. Some sort of winter flu in my chest, causing the usual aches and pains. I am always amazed how our perspective changes when we are not well. We become lethargic, withdrawn and generally miserable with the thoughts looped in our brain. I hope I get better soon.
So today as I write this article I am trying to be optimistic. I am trying to remember that for many in our world things are much, much worse.
What is a little flu virus compared to starvation, war, chronic illness and a whole host of other miserable conditions?
The fact is that even with the flu I have things pretty good.
'She was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.'
Advent is a time of waiting. We are waiting for a radical and dramatic change in our human condition because we are spiritually sick. Humanity is ill and our disease is terminal without the Divine Physician.
We await the day when Jesus will come again. When our great physician comes to heal us all, body, soul and spirit. When the evil of this present world, illuminated by our Advent readings, comes to an end. When the new light will dawn, when suffering shall become radiant joy, when all our hopes and dreams will finally be fulfilled in the love of Christ.
Yes, we wait and must hold onto one simple truth: Christ will come again. Nothing should ever steal this great hope from our hearts and minds. Christ will come again. His kingdom will come and those who trust him will not be disappointed.
When John Paul II visited Poland under the communist occupation they tried to stop the crowds from seeing him in large numbers. They erected complicated barrier systems that would make it look like the people weren't all that interested in the pope and the faith he represented.
Well, the barriers were completely overrun. The Polish people could not be stopped. All their pent-up hopes and dreams came out in the battle cry of hundreds of thousands: "Christ conquers! Christ rules! Christ reigns!"
The communists were scared. Their reign of oppression was near an end. They were in fact on the wrong side of history. Next year John Paul II will be declared a saint. His legacy will go on and on. The communists, the tyrants, the dictators and oppressors will all pass away. Christ will come again. Christ will conquer, rule, and reign forever and ever.
Let this be our battle cry in the difficulties of life. This is not just pious thought or vain hope. It is reality. It is fact. It is the basis of our faith. We should meditate on this reality often.
Christ will come again, and when we stand with him, we are on the right side of history. Christ will come again no matter what sickness, suffering and trials we must face in this present time.
As we move into the Christmas season let us remember. The True Light came into this dark world as an innocent baby. But it will not end there. He will come again. He will reign.
And death and sickness, war and famine, fear and division will all pass away.
This Sunday's readings remind us that Emmanuel is coming. God is with us and will fully manifest his presence at the Second Coming of Jesus. Let us celebrate the coming season, remembering his first coming and looking forward to the day when he comes again.
Jesus, open our eyes to see all of life through the perspective that you will come again. You will reign no matter what sorrow we must endure. Emmanuel, you are with us now and always.