First Sunday of Advent
We gather together to begin the Holy Season of Advent. We are called to take steps and be ready to meet the Lord.
In one of his books, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar tells the story of NFL quarterback, Jeff Hostetler, formerly with the New York Giants. At the beginning of his career, Jeff was a back-up quarterback for the Giants. By the end of his seventh season, he had thrown less than 200 passes and none of them had any bearing on the outcome of a game. Then Phil Simms, the starting quarterback of the Giants went down with an injury. Coach Bill Parcels looked to his back-up quarterback on the bench and said “Okay Jeff, it’s your turn.” Jess Hostetler ran out onto the field and led his team to victory not only in that game but in the remaining games of the season including the Super Bowl.
However, as Zig Ziglar points out, there was more to the story than that. During these seven years that Jeff was in waiting he threw thousands of passes through a swinging tire. He worked with his wide receivers and running backs in countless practice sessions, sharpening and honing his skills. He lifted tons of weights, did hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups, jogged many miles and did many wind sprints. He literally spent hundreds of hours poring over the playbook, studying not only his own offense and defense, but the defenses of the opposing teams. When Coach Parcells turned to Jeff Hostetler and said, “Okay Jeff, it’s your turn,” Jeff was ready.
Advent summons you and me to take steps to get ready and be ready to meet Our Lord. The word, Advent, means coming. The Church calls us to focus upon the Second Coming of Christ at Christmas. We possibly could add a Third Coming to these – to be vigilant to meet the Lord as He comes to us in our everyday lives.
What are some ways in which we can “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord?”
First, we can deepen our prayer lives. We can pick up a blue Advent book at the exits of our church after Mass. It contains prayers and reflections for Advent.
Secondly, we can attend programs at church such as our Advent Presentations and our Parish Advent Communal Penance Service.
Lastly, we can open ourselves to the spirit of giving to others. Tuesday, November 29th is known as “Giving Tuesday.” This is a day to donate to charitable institutions. Also, our parish has the “Giving Tree” for the Christmas Holiday. You can pick up a tag to buy a Christmas present for a child in need.
Jeff Hostetler spent seven years getting ready to play and win football games. He took many steps to achieve this goal. We all have the goal to get ready and be ready to meet Our Lord. We too are called to take concrete steps to “Prepare the Way of the Lord.” Let us be open to the opportunities that we have to take these steps so that Christ can be reborn in the manger of our hearts this Christmas.
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