Need of a Savior

Advent matters because Jesus Christ is a Savior, not just a teacher. If he is only a teacher, then you can read him any time you want and collect things from him, like any other teacher. He is a savior that means you have to feel the need for him. If someone is trapped, or held captive, or in a swamp, they don't need a teacher; they need a savior. So we need to understand that space - how stuck we are and how needy we are.

  When someone is addicted to drink or pornography, you are stuck and you can't save yourself. You feel that ache and the helpless yearning; really and truly you hit bottom. Then what do you do? Either you go into depression and end your life or take steps to make progress or surrender to a higher power, who can help in this regard. The same is true in the spiritual order. Advent is about moving into that space, taking steps to make progress to feel the need of the savior.

 We don't need a Savior unless we're deeply convinced there is something to be saved from. For example, what postpones a timely treatment of a sickness? It is either denial ("I don't have a problem") or the conviction that one can solve this on his own ("I can stop drinking any time I want" or "I can stop gambling whenever I decide "). Our culture, in a million ways, tells us, "You're fine! You're great! Assert yourself and don't let people tell you what to do!" But all of that is a lie, because a sickness has to be treated.

  Deep down our whole existence here on earth is characterized by some attitudes: waiting, expecting, hoping and anticipating. Underneath every sin or sickness, these attitudes somehow speak to the deepest desires of our heart. So Advent is the time we get deeply in touch with the desire of our heart that we need a savior. Let us prepare ourselves to receive the Savior.

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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St. Bernadette Catholic Church