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As We Await the Blessed Hope

Advent is a season of paradoxes. On the one hand, it is a penitential season in which we work to break down anything that keeps us from drawing ourselves closer to God. At the same time, it is a season of joy in which Christians throughout the world eagerly await the coming of the Savior. During Advent, the triumphant sound of the words “Glory to God in the Highest” are for the most part silenced in order to draw us to a sense of anticipation and gives us a sort of empty feeling since the Prince of Peace has not yet arrived. And yet, we are still called to, “Rejoice!” for “Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!” Like the shepherds and the magi, we are wandering in search of the promised one, but like Mary we rejoice because we know and so place our complete trust in God that His Word is about to become incarnate among us.

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!”

Carlo Santa Teresa

Carlo Santa Teresa

2nd Theology
Carlo Santa Teresa attends Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.
Carlo Santa Teresa

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