The story of almost every life includes missed opportunities. Opportunities for something good and wonderful that were missed. Somebody else got that great job because the job application was submitted too late. The fabulous item that was on sale was purchased by another person because you procrastinated in buying it. You always meant to say “I love you” to someone who was important to you but the person died before you said it.
Advent is the season that reminds us, as the Gospel says, that everyday we are to be “watchful and alert” (Mark 13:33-37). It is the season of preparation for the Christmas celebration of the first arrival of Jesus into our world. We also look forward to his promised second coming at the end of time. Advent is the time that exhorts us to not miss the all-important opportunities we have now to welcome the Lord into our lives. The season invites us not to miss the opportunities we have everyday to let God’s grace strengthen, comfort, renew and refresh us.
It is easy for many of us to fail noticing the opportunities we have to see and experience the action of God in our lives. Because of the busy and often frantic activity of our lives, days can go by before we ever stop and ask, “What just happened?” or “Where is God in all of this?” The complexities of our lives also sometimes make it easier to postpone until later things that really need attention now. We say that we will get to that tomorrow, we will wait until we feel better, we will wait for a better time.
Advent is about the right moment being the moment we have. We do not know if we will have tomorrow. This is the time to think about the opportunities we may be missing now. It is an occasion for us to ask ourselves what the right moment is for us to speak or to ask. What are some opportunities that we will stop missing?
There is a dictum that says, “If you want to have a good Christmas, have a good Advent.” The right moment is now to begin that good Advent.