Sunday, December 03, 2006
The Sign of Salvation
On this, the first Sunday of Advent, it is well to ask ourselves: For what are we preparing?
Are we preparing for the secular god of consumerism and focusing our attentions on material goods?
Are we preparing for the joys of Christmas only-- its celebrations and its feasts-- and what I have sometimes heard called the "true meaning of Christmas" with its sentimental notions of the child born in Bethlehem?
Or are we preparing for the Sign of our Salvation? For on that blessed night when Christ the Lord was born, the Angels told the shepherds of this Sign: A baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. A baby born in a cave in the bitterness of cold and in the darkness of night to a most pure virgin.
Of what is this a sign, if not the death of Our Lord when the virgin holds His cold and fragile body again-- now pierced and crucified-- and she wraps Him, once again, in strips of torn cloths and lies Him to rest in a darkened cave?
The Savior is soon to be born and this is the joy for which we prepare! But we, who desire His salvation, must also be prepared to receive this Sign and, like the virgin, plant it in our hearts.