In Advent, the church prays in song:
“O come Desire of Nations, bind in one, the hearts of humankind.
Bid thou our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!”
This period, or the 54 days before the celebration of Christmas Day, is observed by Christians as a period of great anticipation. It is marked by acts of repentance, renewal and commitment all seeking to conform to the declaration of the prophet Isaiah echoed by John the Baptist: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Luke 3:4)
It also talks about vigilance because of the certainty of the Lord’s coming to judge and the uncertainty of the time of His return (Luke 13:33-37).
Preparing the way of the Lord and being vigilant are not warnings for doom. Rather, they are calls for a joyful expectation of the Christ that sets us free. They are calls to remind us that is our vocation, also to stand up for what Christ came for, the restoration of our human dignity hitherto shackled by sin, or those situations that deprive or deny us the experience of God’s abundance.
Amidst the glitter of city decorations and the humble lowly star if at all in many more places, may we not lose sight of Advent’s significance. And may we not lose hope of the victory brought us by the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
“Restore us, O God of hosts, show the light or your countenance, and we shall be saved. (Psalm 80:7)
JUSTICE RAOUL V. VICTORINO, Ret.
REV. REX RB REYES, JR.