Sunday, November 29, 2015

Choose Your Advent Attitude: RESOLVE to Run to Meet Christ

In the Collect for today's Mass we heard - for the 5th year in a row - words which are by now becoming familiar:
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,

so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom."
The key to all this is that we are asking God for something called "resolve." Just what IS that?

According to the Miriam Webster Thesaurus, resolve is
firm or unwavering adherence to one's purpose
Synonyms decidedness, decision, decisiveness, determinedness, firmness, granite, purposefulness, resoluteness, resolution, resolve, stick-to-itiveness
Related Words doggedness, obduracy, obdurateness, obstinacy, obstinateness, perseverance, persistence, persistency, stubbornness, tenaciousness, tenacity; certainty, certitude, confidence, sureness; alacrity, eagerness, gameness, readiness; backbone, fortitude, grit, iron, pluck, sand
Near Antonyms doubt, incertitude, indetermination, uncertainty; aversion, disinclination, indisposition, reluctance, unwillingness
Antonyms hesitation, indecision, indecisiveness, irresoluteness, irresolution, vacillation
This is a great summary of what we are asking of God. We want to avoid all doubt and uncertainty, but instead to have the firmness of purpose to be ready to be ready for Christ, no matter what happens. In a world torn by conflict, hatred, bigotry and war, this is a pretty tall order. We are really asking for the same kind of certainty that recent Christian martyrs slain by ISIS have had. They died rather than deny Christ. Could we?

Not without the grace of faith. In the end, it is this for which we ask. Faith is not something we decide we will have. So, we ask God to send us the sort of confidence, that dispels the darkness of a world in a nighttime of fear and uncertainty, We ask this at Mass, because it is through the Eucharist that we can be transformed from people of fear to people of faith, from people of hesitation to people of eagerness.

We need Advent light now more than ever: to stand on tiptoe in anticipation of the dawn of what Jesus and the Prophets called "The Day of the Lord." This Advent, don't slump with fear and uncertainty. Instead, as we heard in today's Gospel reading, "stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand." (Luke 21:28) This should be your Advent attitude.  Raise your heads and look for the dawn.

No comments:

Post a Comment