為什麼將臨期很重要? 

將臨期不只是準備聖誕節的來臨,將臨期帶給我們的可是一份認識基督徒身份的視野,並且顯示我們各種生命的可能性。
 

將臨期帶給我們的生命幅度有二:回顧基督初次降生於白冷城,以及基督的再次來臨。在這二次來臨的中間,我們以基督徒的身份尋求生命的意義。
 

首先,我們慶祝基督道成肉身、降生為人。我們回顧他的生命,體驗他在歷史中以人類身份的臨在。基督顯示我們生命為何,且應該為何。他給我們真實且有效的原則,好使我們能活出真實與有效的生活。但是耶穌知道人類的心靈不能活在孤立之中,他以一群由愛所維繫的人為概念,創立了教會。在這團體之中,我們發現無限的可能性與意義。獨自一人,萬事難成。在一起,我們尋著真實的意義。
 

當基督離世之時,他沒有離棄我們。在聖神內、教會裡、聖事中、聖言與其他之內,他與我們在一起。他在團體裡與我們生活,讓他對生命的視野持續展現於我們眼前。
 

當基督再來時,他的臨在不再只是隱藏在禮儀與聖言的記號與象徵之中,他在我們之間的臨在將在圓滿中呈現,一個沒有終結的臨在,一個能滿全我們團體的臨在。
 

將臨期之所以更為重要,原因即在此。在這短短的幾週內,我們快速地跨越時空,從基督的降生到他的再次來臨。將臨期帶給我們的是從基督而來的對生命的卓然視野以及對未來的盼望。
 

將臨期是個讓我們更加投入的時期,讓我們更明白在基督徒團體的意義與各種可能性。因此我們不只是準備聖誕節,更是準備基督的再次來臨。也就是說當基督再來時,祂將發現我們是警醒著的,而非熟睡著的。
 

原文位置:
  http://www.catholic.org/clife/advent/index.php?id=6 

Why is Advent Important
 

Preparation for Christmas is an important theme for Advent, but more is involved. Advent gives us a vision of our lives as Christians and shows us the possibilities of life.
 

The vision of life that Advent gives us is twofold; it looks back to the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem, and it looks to the future when Christ will come again. In the interval between these two events we find meaning for our life as a Christian.
 

First we celebrate Christ-become-human. We view his life and experience his presence as a human being in our history. Christ came to show us what life can and should be. He gave us true and valid principles by which we can live true and valid lives. But Jesus knew that the human heart could not live in isolation. He formed the Church around the concept of a people held together by love. In that community we discover unlimited possibilities and meaning. Alone we can do nothing. Together we find real meaning.
 

When Christ left this earth, he did not abandon us. He remains with us in his Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, the Scriptures and each other. He lives in community with us and keeps his vision of life before us.
 

When Christ comes again, his presence will no longer be hidden behind the signs and symbols of the liturgy or the words of the Scriptures. His presence among us will be revealed in all its fullness, a presence that will never end, a presence that will perfect and complete our community.
 

This is the "greater significance" of Advent. In these few short weeks we take in the sweeping panorama of time - from Christ's birth to his Second Coming. The season of Advent brings us the magnificent vision of life and hope for the future given to us by Christ.
 

Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ's Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful. He will not find us asleep.
 

© Liguori Publications Excerpt from Advent - A Quality Storecupboard The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer 


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