Although the history of Advent has many branches resulting in various meanings for the word, many of us have from childhood on associated both the word and the season with traditional words like: come, prepare, watch, wait, hope, expectation, anticipation . . .
Any one of these words not only describes this familiar time of year but also frequently recalls for us a host of memories unique to each of our lives, some filled with joy, others marked by sadness.
While the traditional descriptions of the season continue to carry vivid meaning for me, I have found myself more and more over the years thinking of Advent not so much as a unique season but rather as an intensification of what actually marks the truth of every season.
Jesus is not only coming in Advent; Jesus is here in every season.”
God is indeed born into our lives as an infant during this season, but God is also newly born and fully among us at all times, just waiting for us to be more aware and appreciative of that indescribable presence.
God as dependent infant is the special image that we honor during Advent and Christmas; yet God as Creator, all-loving Friend, constant Companion, is an ever-present God who is with us and in us every single day of our lives.
Without in any way dismissing or diminishing the miracle of Advent and Christmas, as we approach the end of the season, I pray especially for the grace to grow in everyday awareness of the miraculous presence of our loving God in me and in every one–always!