I refer, of course, to the theatrical release of Peter Jackon's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
This first of three movies will be followed next December by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and in the summer of 2014 by The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
If memory serves, I first read The Hobbit when I was ten years old and fell in love with Middle-earth, and especially the Shire. I remember wanting to live in a hobbit hole; when I saw Peter Jackon's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and his deciption of a hobbit hole, that desire only increased.
I very much enjoyed Howard Shore's musical compositions and especially those dealing with Hobbiton. After The Fellowship of the Ring I hoped he would release an album of music from the Shire. He never did, but he's back with his conductor's baton for the next three movies.
Over the past several weeks I have watched several video clips and read books and articles about The Hobbit. I have listened the new soundtrack, read Appendix A of the The Lord of the Rings, looked into The Silmarian and have begun to re-read The Hobbit. I've even had my tickets for about a month now. You could say I'm ready; I've been ready for a while.
As my anticipation for this film only continues to grow, I cannot help but remember that this is what these Advent days are to be about. How much greater should my excitement and eagerness be for the return of Christ the King than for the release of The Hobbit?
This morning the Prophet Isaiah cried out:
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,His cries will intensify over the coming days and to his voice the voices of the other prophets will be added. Journeying each day with the Mass readings, and especially through the Liturgy of the Hours, the Church's anticipation will increasing and come to a point of near bursting until at least we arrive at the great feast of Christmas.
make firm the knees that are weak,
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.
How great is your anticipation for the coming of the Lord? How great is my anticipation? When he comes, will find us ready, or will he find us excited about other things?
Let us beg of the Lord the grace to deepen our longing for his coming, so that when he comes in his glory the prophet Isaiah may say of us, "They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee."