The Rev. Jonas Shell, an alumnus of the university, presented a talk for the GNT group on “Advent preparation.” Shell spoke of the variety of ways to prepare during the advent season, including offering up small sacrifices.
“Giving up something allows us to cling on to something else – mainly Jesus Christ,” said Shell.
Shell pointed out that preparing in the advent season also helps us prepare for the coming of Christ.
The readings during Mass will be mainly focused on the Last Judgment, a day of mourning, said Shell. But Christians should view the Last Judgment and meeting God face-to-face as a good thing.
Shell ran through a brief timeline of salvation history.
“Expectation: that’s the whole theme,” said Shell. He went on to explain the prophecy of the coming Messiah in the time of King David and the Babylonian Captivity, leading all the way up to John the Baptist.
“John points us to Christ,” said Shell. “John gives us an example in his own life of how to get closer to the Lord and how to prepare for the coming of the Lord.”
Shell said following what the Lord wills is not a difficult task. “One of the best penances is to fulfill your daily obligations.”
Shell said the best ways come from doing things that bring us into close contact with Jesus, and he offered some specific ways to do so.
“You prepare by works of penance … take time to pray … do works of mercy,” said Shell.
Franciscan students appreciated the helpful tips Shell provided.
Rachel Kampa, a graduate theology student, said what stood out to her was the idea of preparing for advent before the season begins.
“I think it just sneaks up on us,” said Kampa, “especially as students, because we’re getting ready for finals, and we’re excited to go visit our families.”
“Just take a little time to reflect and think about how we’re entering into a whole new year of the Church,” said Kampa. “We need to take a step back and use the opportunity … to spend some more time in reflection for Christ’s coming.”
Katie Kralovic, an early child education major, said she loved the environment in which the talk was given.
“It’s just great to come and take a load off instead of worrying about the homework coming with this talk,” said Kravolic. “Just coming in and getting to listen with interest … I can just go socialize and hear about God.”
Kampa also shared her thoughts on the environment.
“It’s nice to come and relax, enjoy the topic and focus more on a spiritual dimension of theology versus trying to learn it for a test,” said Kampa. “I (also) like the diversity of presenters that we’ve had . … It’s nice to get a little bit of a feel for the community and for the diocesan priests that we have in this area, and getting their perspective, getting to meet them a little bit.”
This was the final Theology on Tap of the Fall 2017 semester. There are no dates for the first Theology on Tap of the Spring 2018 semester, but the GNT group have already lined up some speakers, including Dr. Hildebrand, Bishop Montforton and Dr. Scott Hahn.