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Prepare your heart for Christmas by receiving Gospel reflections written by seminarians from the Mundelein community via email each week of Advent.

Reflection for the First Week of Advent by Deacon Manuel Barrios

Gospel Reading: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

I’ve been waiting for the pilgrimage to the Holy Land for almost a year. I am eagerly awaiting to set foot on the Holy place where my King was born. The trip is finally happening as I write this.

Imagine what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to await the birth of the King of the Universe. It is fitting that the Church celebrates Jesus’s Kingship the Sunday before Advent. Jesus came to reveal the Kingdom of Truth: for this I was born and for this I came into the world: to testify to the truth. But how can you prepare to receive the Truth?

Think of how a person prepares to receive home someone that they love. I imagine how my parents feel when they know I am coming home to visit. My mom always asks me which of my favorite foods she can prepare for me first. I always opt for Mexican refried beans and rice. I am moved by the affection I receive from my family when I arrive home. I can only imagine Jesus’s joy as you await and prepare during this time of Advent to receive Him; Jesus desires to reside in your heart.

My wait to travel to the Holy Land has been full of expectations and preparations. Similarly, during Advent we recall His First Coming into the world and we prepare for His return. The work of our King has begun, yet it has not come into completion until His Second Coming. Whoever is prepared will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Will you be prepared to stand before the Son of Man on His Second Coming?

Brothers and sisters may we properly prepare our hearts to receive the King. Do not let His arrival catch you by surprise.

Deacon Manuel R Barrios
Diocese of San Jose