The season of Advent is very much like the life of a seminarian. As seminarians, our entire formation is a constant anticipation of things to come. Oftentimes, a seminarian will blissfully ponder on what it will be like to celebrate Mass and to hold Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the people to adore. He will think about what it will be like to release someone from the burden of sin through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To experience the joy of welcoming a newborn into the Church through baptism, to give spiritual strength to a sick person through the Anointing of the Sick, and to commend the souls of the deceased through the Church’s rites of Christian Burial. In the midst of all of this are the many aspects of preparation for the priesthood: endless hours of study, deadlines for papers that need to be met, and the discomfort of learning the truth about yourself in hopes that you can be a proper dispenser of Christ’s mysteries.
And yet, in spite of all of the demands of seminary life and the fact that life does not stop because of any burdens that may arise, like the season of Advent, the joyful anticipation of having Christ among us draws us to a joyful expectation of the fruits of our work and struggles. Our preparation is not for our own glorification, but for the coming of the King of Kings who has come to save those Whom He loves. As we wait in joyful anticipation for the immense joys of the Christmas season, may we continue to work to be better disposed for the coming of Our Lord so that we may cry out in word and in action, “O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”