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Advent strengthens my faith in the Redeemer

We are called in this season to look forward to a bright and happy tomorrow

Little Stream

Little Stream

Published: December 02, 2021 07:53 AM GMT

Updated: December 02, 2021 08:02 AM GMT

Advent strengthens my faith in the Redeemer

Vietnam Catholics welcome Advent by carrying pictures of Mother Mary, St. Joseph and the Apostles around a church in Hanoi on Nov. 28. (Photo courtesy of tonggiaophanhanoi.org)

“Why do we have to wait? What do we await?” A pagan friend asked me this after hearing my introduction to Advent.

Wondering how to appropriately respond to the questions, I inadvertently realize something about the meaning of Advent in the consciousness of Christians.

Advent is not to expect the Redeemer to come in the form of a baby in the flesh, not to wait for the cold air of the Christmas season that lasts until New Year’s Eve and Tet or the Lunar New Year, and also not to want to listen to funny Christmas carols again.

In silence, I find out that Advent evokes in each person a reality of human life that we are short of many things, and we look forward to meeting those shortages.

What are we deficient in? It is absolutely impossible to list all human needs, but in essence Advent wants to remind you and me of the absence of eternal happiness and the desperate yearning to enjoy that ecstasy.

Anyway, we still have to recognize that every effort in one’s life aims at bringing happiness to either oneself or to someone else. However, in reality, happiness is so short-lived. Those brief moments vanish in the blink of an eye and leave feelings of pity over time.

Through Jesus Christ, I receive the firm promise that my next life is of eternal happiness if I sincerely live out God's will in this life

Someone who lived with me happily yesterday has left me forever today. My job was worthwhile yesterday but today it has become menial and even arouses a deep sense of injustice.

The Covid-19 pandemic that was thought to have been stemmed continues to flare up again intensely. Just like that, we were happy yesterday, are sad today and mixed with indescribable positivity and negativity.

That is the reality of my life and yours. As it is reality, we could not stay away from it or are so frightened and huddle up in a corner of the room waiting for unwanted realities to disappear quickly.

However, Advent gives me a fairly positive outlook as it brings me a strong faith in the Redeemer. St. John said, "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known."

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Through Jesus Christ, I receive the firm promise that my next life is of eternal happiness if I sincerely live out God's will in this life. It is this perspective showing me that all joys and sorrows in life are not the Creator's ironic jokes to treat people like puppets.

Quite the contrary, God clothes you and me in a noble person so that we understand that all events in life are effective tools for us to achieve eternal happiness. It is a question of whether we know how to use them or not.

It sounds like a theory, but in reality have you and I ever dared to sit back and think that there is still a feeling in each of us that we lack something insightful that cannot be named? Are all our current efforts limited? And is the most considerable hope in each person something specific that brings true happiness to me or someone else?

If we never stop to think about that, perhaps this Advent is an opportunity for us to do so.

Every happy day makes every happy month that makes every happy year, and each year of happiness weaves into a happy life

The Second Person of the Trinity who came down from Heaven as a human responds to my reflections. Waiting is no longer waiting for a baby to be born to save humanity, nor waiting for beautiful music, lovely clothes and cool weather, but expecting eternal happiness some day.

You and I are called to live an active life and flourish in our human and Christian vocations in order to live up to Jesus' words, “Straighten up and lift up your heads, for your redemption is drawing near."

I finally have a positive answer to my friend — a follower of another faith — about what to expect for me and him. My solution may not be to all problems, but both of us are called to look forward to a bright and happy tomorrow. Every happy day makes every happy month that makes every happy year, and each year of happiness weaves into a happy life.

Hopefully, at the end of our lives, both you and I will know what we are hard up for, what we expect, and exactly how happy we are.

This article was summarized and translated by a UCA News reporter from a Vietnamese article published here at dongten.net. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.

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