ROME — The season of Advent is a reminder to us to open our horizons and have concern for more than just material things, Pope Francis said Sunday during his Angelus address.
Advent is an invitation “to sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world, to material reality, but rather to govern them,” Francis said Nov. 27 in St. Peter’s Square.
“If, on the contrary, we are conditioned and overpowered by them, it is not possible to perceive that which is much more important: our final encounter with the Lord: and this is important. That, that encounter.”
He pointed to the three comings of Christ, to which Advent directs us: his Incarnation; his daily walking with us and his consoling presence; and his “coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”
The day’s Gospel reading “brings out the contrast between the normal unfolding of things, the daily routine, and the sudden coming of the Lord,” Francis reflected.
“It always strikes us to think of the hours preceding a great calamity: all are tranquil, doing the same things without knowing their life is about to be turned upside down,” he said.
“The Gospel certainly does not wish to scare us, but to open our horizon to another dimension, the largest dimension, which on he one hand relativizes the everyday things but at the same time renders them precious, decisive.”
“Relationship with the God-who-comes-to-visit gives to every gesture, every thing, a different light, a ‘thickness’, a symbolic value,” the pope said.
The things of everyday should be seen from the perspective, the horizon, of our final encounter with Christ, Pope Francis taught. Thus is Advent “an invitation to vigilance, because not knowing when He will come, we must always be ready to depart.”
“In this season of Advent, we are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life which is presented each day with its novelty,” Francis said.
“In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own consolidated plans, because the Lord comes in the hour which we don’t imagine. This introduces us to a much more beautiful, and great, dimension.”
The pope concluded, praying that Mary would help us to not consider ourselves as owners of our lives, “not resistent when the Lord comes to change them, but ready to meet him as an awaited and agreeable guest, even though he upsets our plans.”