Sunday, December 6, 2015

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

The season of Advent has two purposes: to prepare us for the celebration of Christmas, the birthday of Jesus; and to turn our attention to the Christ of glory who will come at the end of time.

Advent, then, is a preparation time for more than Christmas day which is filled with tremendous sentiment and feelings; the season itself is a time for us to judge how well we prepare for the second coming of the Lord by examining how well we live Jesus' gospel teachings and preaching.

The Christmas day celebration is a natural and easy one to prepare for and doesn’t demand too much from us. The Advent season focusing on the second coming of Christ asks for transformation of our lives and true adherence to the Gospel.

Baruch invites us to have hope by reminding us of great themes coming from our relationship with God: exiles are "remembered by God" and "advance secure in the glory of God."

Paul encourages us prayerfully inviting us to continue in living our "partnership for the gospel." He reminds us of God's activity in our lives: "the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."

The transformation of our lives is expressed in his prayer for us "that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge ... so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ."

Jesus is not coming – he already came in his birth in Bethlehem, but we have a great need to remember this redemptive event that has changed all of time.

Jesus Christ is coming again and in him will be revealed the "glory and praise of God." This is the real event we are preparing for by listening to Christ's teachings and putting them into effect in our lives by becoming true disciples of the Lord.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

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