Fr. Leo Pabayo .
ADVENT is a season of hope. The readings at Mass are about hope for the coming of the Savior. It talks about the second coming of Christ. We hope that he will surely come and that we will be among the elect whom he will welcome into his kingdom. “Well done good and faithful servant. Because you have been faithful on little things I will give you charge of greater things. Enter into the happiness of your Master.” We hope that this will really happen, that we will enter into his kingdom.
A good analogy for hope in the coming of God’s kingdom in the Gospel readings for Advent is that of the farmer who plants the seeds in his farm in the hope that this will grow and bear abundant grains or fruits for the harvest. Farmers all over the world do this since time immemorial. What they have been doing for hundreds of thousand years farmers today are still doing today. It is because of their hope that the seed they plant will grow and bear fruits for the harvest.
The reason or foundation of this hope is that it is in the nature of plants, given the right soil, climate, and other variables, to grow and bear fruit. The ultimate reason is that God has ordained it so. Whatever God says as the Book of Genesis and other God inspired words of the true prophets of God will surely happen. Yes, there is such a thing as crop failure due to various circumstances, like climate change and other calamities brought about by man. But this is not due to the nature of things as God has ordained them. The disorder in nature is due to man’s failure to read God’s designs in nature brought about ultimately by his sins.
Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within us. This is where we find the ultimate reason for our hope. In one of his parables Jesus said that it is like the mustard seed that is very tiny but when become a fully grown bush even the birds can build nests on it.
Our life is like that. We live in hope. We have aspirations. What brought about these aspirations? It is brought about by a sense that we have been made for greater things and that the future that awaits us is a future that by God’s grace will realize our core aspiration in life that we strive to reach. It is just like the power of God in nature enables the seeds planted by the farmer to develop into a full grown plant that becomes ready for the harvest. Our core aspiration in life is to be united with God and share in his happiness forever. All the other thing in creation are ordained for this.
Christ came to show us how true this is no matter how our path in life or the road that we tread is strewn with all kinds of difficulties and evils. If we heed the light that he has given to guide us in our life, the way the three wise men heeded the star that led them to Bethlehem we will find what we are searching for in life.
If we heed the light of our faith we too can hope to get to where God is guiding us to be with him. In Bethlehem, in Nazareth and in other places where he has sent his apostles and disciples to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God.