This Second Sunday of Advent, God is challenging us to strengthen our endurance. There are instances where in we try to approach God, but some human stands in the way. We must humbly endure, letting all pride die within us, and ask again for God's grace. When we see the world around us enjoying its pleasures, we need endurance. This can easily be understood by anyone who has ever been on a diet while a friend is not. What we need is endurance when we are with them.
But our God is not a God of endurance alone. Our religion is not simply a trial of endurance. Never do we encounter a new opportunity to humbly endure without also receiving great encouragement. God's encouragement is not like human encouragement. It is not simply a few words of well-wishing, spoken to break an uncomfortable silence. The encouragement of God is God himself. When we need encouraging, God comes to us.
Truly this is what Advent is about, the encouragement of God. When the whole world seemed like it could not possibly endure anymore, God came to us, and what encouragement this was! The past calamities we see happening in the world, and most recently in the Philippines, is a test of endurance, but we Christians believe that God is with us every step of the way. There will not come in our life anything to endure which God has not endured. God is with us.