Prepare for his coming

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

When people have upcoming events, they wait for them. But usually, such waiting is never in inactivity and with folded hands. When people have forthcoming event, they prepare for it. They do all kinds of preparations. As they prepare, depending on what kind of events, there may be excitement or there may be sorrow if, for instance, the event is a funeral.

Whatever is the event, nevertheless, people do a lot of things in preparation: compound cleaning if the compound is unkempt or not spacious; they try to expand the area for reception of guests. Different groups would be sowing uniforms - you know this new wave of ndi ashebi. Today people wear uniforms even for sorrowful events like funerals.

They also wear uniforms for spiritual/religious events like priestly ordinations, religious professions and anniversaries. This was not commonplace in the past. Probably, a mark of internalization of the Gospel, we hope and pray, and never its secularization. Be that as it may, people do a lot in preparing for their events, no wonder why our people say that "egba k'uso n'enkwado nnye".

Advent, from the Latin word, Adventus, means coming. It signifies the coming of the Lord. When, for the first time in the history of the world, the whole world waited for His coming. He came in human history. He comes again in our hearts. Advent has become a period the Church reenacts this coming and waits for His 2nd coming, the Parousia.

It is a sacred season to prepare for Christmas. Often, in Nigeria, people use this period before Christmas to fast-track their businesses. For instance, those who own moribund vehicles dust them up, and put them on roads, perhaps, to become death traps for others; in the markets, with the hustle and bustle of the "season", traders escalate the cost of their goods in bid to reap a fortune; dealers of petroleum products hoard and hike their prices as if there would be no tomorrow; and so on and so forth.

But the season of Advent is a time for spiritual preparations. From the olden days, humanity is called to prepare for the Day of the Lord. It was the mission of John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord before the Lord Himself came (Isaiah 40: 3; Malachy 3: 1; Matthew 3: 3). Advent offers us a sober moment to look through our spiritual lives; to mark how far and how good we have fared in the things of the Lord.

It is a time we can do revival programmes. It is a time we do novenas in preparations for Christmas. It is a time for retreats to retrace our steps all through the year. It is a time look into our relationship with our God, with our Church, with our spiritual leaders. It is a time to go to confession.

It is a time to reconcile with God and with our neighbours. It is a time we make peace in our family and in our society. It is a time for the Lord.

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