“My house shall be a house of prayer.” Luke 19:46
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we learn that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and was given to us by God. We do not belong to ourselves. God bought us with a high price. So we must honor God with your bodies. How? Just as Jesus ejected the traders in the Jerusalem Temple, so too we should keep the temple of our bodies clean of anything that would anger the Lord.
I am reading Amy Tan’s ‘The Kitchen God’s Wife’, and in it, she described that before the Chinese New Year, a lot of cleaning, wiping, washing, and throwing out had to be done by the household. Not a single speck of dust from the old year could remain for the new year! As Advent approaches, now would be a good time for cleaning up the temple of the Lord.
Here in the Philippines, we usually skip Advent and go straight to Christmas. But when we expect an important person to visit our home, isn’t it but natural that we take some time to look around and evaluate what needs to be cleaned, fixed or removed? That’s what Advent is, a time of anticipation and expectation certainly, but also a time of preparation. Advent comes from the Latin ‘Adventus’, which means ‘coming’. We prepare for the visitation of the Lord into our lives on Christmas, the special season of grace. We also await His second coming in glory.
I have to admit it is hard for me to keep in mind that Advent is like Lent in a way. We are supposed to devote more time to prayer, scripture reading, lighting the Advent wreath, sharing our blessings, and even fasting.
We can read in the Cathechism of the Catholic Church (524): “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second coming.” So before we spend so much of our time shopping, wrapping gifts, partying, decorating our homes and cooking, let us first make sure our temple is ready for our Lord’s visitation. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, come!