Advent, this powerful liturgical season that we are beginning, invites us to pause in silence to understand a presence. It is an invitation to understand that the individual events of the day are hints that God is giving us, signs of the attention he has for each one of us. ---Pope Benedict XVI (Homily at First Vespers of Advent, November 28, 2009)
Scripture Text: (MAL 3:1-4, 23-24)
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.
Lo, I will send you
Elijah, the prophet,
Before the day of the LORD comes,
the great and terrible day,
To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
and the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
the land with doom.
Advent is the season of preparing our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ first coming into our world. The question posed by today's reading is stark: Have we reviewed our lives and examined them in terms of fidelity to living Jesus’ message? Are there any dark corners where we resist that light? Are our all our relationships free from hatred and non-forgiveness? Are our daily occupations integrated with the two great commandments of loving God and our neighbor? Are all our crosses and sufferings brought to Christ for guidance and strength in carrying them?
In short what dark corners of our hearts still await illumination by the light of Christ’s word?