As Advent approaches, how do you plan to prepare? Advent is a blessed season in which the Church, in her goodness, directs us to prepare our hearts and minds for Christ’s coming.
“We are preparing to commemorate the anniversary of Jesus’ birth,” Fr. Kovash says. “That saying, ‘Jesus is the reason for the season,’ is so true! The God of the universe became man! He who is pure spirit comes into our world as a little baby! Advent offers us a time to ponder this reality. It is a time for us to consider how Christ is present in our lives, who He is to each one of us.”
Advent offers us the opportunity to refocus our hearts and minds and to reorient ourselves to the ways of the Lord. We focus on the profound reality of the incarnation and, at the same time, we are called to intentionally prepare ourselves for Christ’s second coming.
“Jesus talks a lot in His parables about the importance of preparedness,” Fr. Kovash says. “We are to be ready!”
As such, the Mass readings throughout Advent call us to stay alert and ready, living our lives intentionally as Christian disciples so that when Christ does come again, He greets us with the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Mt. 25:21).
“I really believe the Lord wants us to be intentional about preparing,” Fr. Kovash says. “Advent is a penitential season. It isn’t as penitential a season as Lent, but it offers us a time to quiet ourselves and to make a resolve to act and make good changes in our lives.”
As parishioners of Ascension, there are many opportunities for us to make changes in a way that reorients us to Christ. One such opportunity is to spend time in adoration. Every Monday and Wednesday, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar. Even if you cannot commit to a half hour or hour, simply stop by on your lunch break or on your way home from work. Intentionally give God more time. You may also join us for Advent Confessions and Adoration on Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. And every Wednesday, you are welcome to come to our Advent prayer services — be on the lookout for more details about those in the coming weeks.
However you choose to do so, be intentional about making the time to grow closer to Christ in this season.
“The Church in her wisdom gives us these liturgical seasons for a reason,” Fr. Kovash says. “She wants us to have a deeper encounter with Christ. I have found that when I ponder the most important things in the world, it changes my life. It changes the way I think. It changes my relationship with Jesus — that becomes much deeper.”
In the Gospel of John, speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist proclaims, “He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30). How are we living that truth today? Now is the time! We must prepare the way!