Desde domingo estou com gosto de ano novo, por causa do Advento, mas nem tanto por uma reflexão intelectual mas pela necessidade real e concreta de deixar que Deus me renove por inteiro, renovando a alma, o coração, a vida, o amor, os pensamentos, o olhar, os afetos, a esperança, a vida missionária, a vida de tantas pessoas que eu amo e que contam com a minha intercessão... Como preciso de Jesus! E o movimento do ano litúrgico faz esse milagre: me mergulha novamente no mistério que é reatualizado pela ação contínua do Espírito Santo na Igreja, a Esposa do Cordeiro. Ele atua no Corpo e em cada membro do Corpo se assim nos abrirmos...
Abaixo segue uma reflexão em inglês, perfeita, que o Pe.David Neuhaus fez sobre o Advento através da Palavra de Deus, como tempo de espera e de abertura, de vigília, pois Jesus veio e vem uma segunda vez e continua vindo e se apresentando em nossas vidas, às vezes de maneira inesperada... Vem Senhor Jesus! Maranatha!
“Stand watch” – Advent
Saturday, 26 November 2011 05:52
The four weeks that precede Christmas are known, in the Christian tradition, as Advent. The faithful anticipate the coming of the Lord and prepare themselves to receive him with great joy at Christmas. Father David Neuhaus SJ describes this special period.
In the Christian tradition, the coming of the Lord that we are anticipating has a triple meaning:
- Firstly, we are preparing for the birth of the Lord Jesus in Bethlehem at Christmas. In this period of four weeks, we read texts from the prophetic books in the Old Testament that speak of the final days and the promises of God to His people. One of the central books is the Book of Isaiah. We want to be ready, with open hearts, to receive the child that will be born.
- Secondly, we are expecting the second coming of the Lord. Indeed, Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago and Christians recognize him as the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. However, the world did not accept him and the promise of the Kingdom of God was fulfilled in Jesus but was not fully accomplished in the world. The Kingdom is here and now in Jesus but we are still waiting for the full crystallization of the Kingdom in the world, when the prophecies of the prophets will be fully and visibly realized and “the wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). Thus, Christians are also waiting for the Lord’s coming, not a hidden coming but one in glory and power. This coming will be at the end of time and even if we do not know when or how it will be, we believe that he will come and we want to be ready even if he comes within a few moments, or in a few days or after a very long time.
- Thirdly, we are awaiting the Lord in the course of our lives here and now. Even if Jesus, at the end of his life on earth ascended into heaven, and even if he has not yet come again, we believe in his promise: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Indeed he comes to us in different ways during the ordinary course of our lives. He comes to us in the Eucharist ( in the Word of God and in the bread and wine). In order to recognize him, we must prepare ourselves, to stand watch, to be aware and awake. However, maybe he will surprise us in the course of the day and he will come to us in the hungry and the thirsty, in the sick and the prisoner, in the weak and the stranger, as was said in the parable we heard in the week before Advent (on the Feast of Christ the King, in the reading from Matthew 25:31-46). Perhaps he will surprise us and ask our help, implore us to serve him, expect something from us… and let us be ready to run towards him.
Jesus says to the faithful in the Gospel especially at this time: “Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake -- for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake” (Mark 13:33-37).
Jesus says to us, to each one of us in fact, that we must be doorkeepers who are alert, standing on guard. The doorkeeper must take notice of the person who seeks to enter. He must discern: who is he, he must identify him, so that only the one who should enter does indeed enter. He does not know when this person might come so he must not fall asleep. And he must welcome him when he comes and bring him in. He has a great responsibility, not only for himself but for all those awaiting this person.
Jesus emphasizes that we do not know “when the time will come”. But what about the place of the coming? It is true that in our homes and in our community gathering places we know exactly where the door is. However, it can be said that Jesus does not always use doors in order to enter. In fact, we do not know where he will come from and perhaps he will open a door in a place where there seems to be no door. In our homes and in our communities, perhaps there is a person who is responsible for guarding the door, a doorkeeper whose job it is to protect the entrance. But what if Jesus chooses a door that is unseen and I happen to be next to it… Am I alert, waiting to hear his footsteps and his knock? Am I ready to open for him without hesitation?
And one wise woman said: in most cases Jesus does not enter our lives through doors of wood or iron. After all, he enters the world through us. Perhaps Jesus is saying to us that we must not only be like doorkeepers but like doors as well… so that through us he can enter and be manifest in the lives of others. If this is indeed so, we must clear a place for him in our heart (so that our heart is not like an “inn” in which there is no place) – and there we must prepare for the birth of the Messiah who comes to save the world. And we await him!