In the Collect (Opening Prayer) for this Second Sunday of Advent we ask for help in keeping our priorities in life straight:
Almighty and merciful God,
may no earthly undertaking hinder those
who set out in haste to meet your Son,
but may our learning of heavenly wisdom
gain us admittance to his company.
Who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The goal of the Christian life is admittance into the company of Christ. We are admitted into Christ’s company first through Baptism, in which we become beloved adopted children of God and members of his Church, the mystical body of Christ. We are admitted into Christ’s company through Holy Communion, in which we receive Christ himself—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. The ultimate goal of life is to gain admittance to Christ’s company for eternity in heaven.
No earthy undertaking should hinder us from admittance to Christ’s company, whether that company be Baptism, Holy Communion, or eternal life in heaven. Earthly undertakings—school, sports, career, raising a family, hobbies—are good in themselves, but we must never allow them to get in the way of being admitted into the company of Christ. To put it bluntly, if there is something in our life that hinders us from Sunday Mass and the Eucharist, then we simply have our priorities wrong; we’re prioritizing something before God in direct violation of the First Commandment.
In this Collect we pray that nothing on earth will impede us from meeting Jesus, either through the sacraments in this life, or face-to-face in heaven. Use this Collect in your personal prayer during this Second Week of Advent, and think about what earthly undertakings may be hindering you from setting out in haste to meet Jesus in both the sacraments now, and eternal life to come.
God bless you,