However, the Good News is that Jesus is coming again! Those who do not have a healthy relationship with Jesus will not be prepared for his coming. In Advent, we celebrate the Incarnation, the "first" coming of the Lord into our lives when he shared our humanity. We also look forward to his "second" coming at the end of time. In between those events, we celebrate his "daily" coming into our lives in Sacramental form - - in Holy Eucharist, in his Word, and in his saintly people who symbolised Jesus' love and suffering.
We cannot be properly prepared to receive Jesus without a healthy "fear of the Lord." As the psalmist says, this is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10). Pope St. John Paul II taught us that Christ "wants us to have fear of all that is an offense against God" (Crossing the Threshold of Hope). It is a holy fear, a constructive fear, a fear that prepares our hearts to be ready to receive Jesus at all times.
Above all, this "fear of the Lord" is a gift from the Holy Spirit. It is one of the seven wonderful "sanctifying" gifts we receive at Confirmation; gifts that help us grow in holiness (Isaiah 11:2). It’s a gift to help us on our journey to holiness and to eternal life with God. We should pray for an increase in this gift during Advent season, to help us prepare our sinful hearts to receive Jesus.
Pray for a renewal of the gift of fear of the Lord in your life, and with all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We originally received these gifts through the ministry of the Bishop at our Confirmation. "The gift of awe" is another way to describe this holy fear in God's presence. Let us give a few moments to reflect on how I can "prepare" my heart in a meaningful way this Advent, and how does this preparation relate to today's gospel?
See also Articles #1831, #1299 and #1303 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Do you have a copy of the Catechism in your home to check these points out?