(It’s the last two days of Advent so I’m featuring my reflection from the winter 2011 issue of Radiant magazine. Have a beautiful Christmas!)
So it’s Advent. The last four weeks. The final haul. The 9th Month.
Who hasn’t experienced the nail biting anticipation of the “The baby is coming” phase at some point? A sense of excited impatience fills the minds of all remotely associated with the birth of a baby.
That 9th month is not the most enjoyable. You’re exhausted, achy, impatient, and with the amount of “Any news yet??” texts messages you get… it feels downright penitential. But there is that amazing sense of joy, that birth is eventually imminent.
This is how I see Advent. The last month of Mary’s pregnancy. A time filled with joy, but talk about penance! The thought of riding a donkey for 80 miles- unless you’re trying to induce labor -doesn’t sound too fun, nor does chucking your birth plan out the window to deliver a baby in a barn.
Her Advent was the most climatic and anticipated 9th month in all of history! Penitential and joyful! Like those lovely four candles represent in our Advent wreaths. Like the end of every pregnancy is! Yet it’s much more exciting than waiting for “the baby” to arrive… it’s waiting for God himself to come into our world. Each time we light an Advent candle we should be thinking not about the presents, but the presence which is coming!