I can’t wait for Christmas…
It is truly one of my favorite holiday seasons. I love listening to and singing traditional Christmas carols. In addition, I enjoy spending time with my family and exchanging gifts with them. However, I do not enjoy the long lines at the department stores several weeks before December 25th. I am also not a fan of Christmas carols being played on the radio soon after the (U.S.) celebration of Thanksgiving Day. As a Catholic, I am becoming increasingly concerned that the consumerism and commercialism of the final months of the year are negatively impacting the religious significance of Christmas. Hence, I believe that it is crucial that we understand and remember Christmas’ true meaning and that we adequately prepare for it. For us Catholics, the four weeks of Advent help us not only to prepare for Christmas but also provide an overall guide to living a holy life.
The annual season of Advent
denotes the inauguration of the Church’s liturgical year and urgently invites all people to reflect on the coming of Jesus Christ into this world in the past, present, and future. It is a time of new beginnings, an era of waiting and anticipation, and a period of preparation. Indeed, this liturgical season is distinctively characterized by its spirit of hope, but also of preparation and waiting, and of joy and commitment.
The word Advent derives from the Latin Adventus
meaning “arrival” or “coming.” During this season, we recall the anticipation and yearning of the biblical people of God for the Messiah. Additionally, we eagerly await the festivity of the nativity of Christ our Savior who is God among us. Moreover, we contemplate the importance of cautiously preparing for the second and glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Advent is a wonderful occasion
for lapsed Catholics to begin anew by returning to the Lord and His Church. Truly, the hope of this grace-filled season reminds us that God draws near to us because He passionately loves us and ardently desires to save all people. This good news should saturate our hearts with joy and profound peace. Likewise, Advent reminds us that we ought to wait patiently for the Lord to come to us and perform those wondrous deeds that we have been praying for.
As we anticipate Christ’s coming,
Saint John the Baptist summons us to be ready: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.” (Lk 3:1-6) In other words, just as we arrange our homes before the visit of family and friends during Christmas, so, too, must we place our hearts and souls in proper spiritual order. Surely, this task is essential to be ready for the many ways the Lord wills to visit us. Without this action, we are unable to welcome Him and prepare for Him a suitable dwelling place. Indeed, Jesus comes to us in the intimacy of prayer; in His holy Word (Sacred Scripture); in the divine encounter of the Eucharist; throughout the people that we meet on a daily basis, and on the final day when He will come to judge the living and the dead. Fortunately, the sacrament of confession purifies our hearts and souls and disposes us to receive Christ Jesus worthily when He comes today in humility, and tomorrow in majestic glory.
Therefore, let us courageously live this great season of Advent
with immense joy and hope. May we commit ourselves to Christ, His Church, and His Kingdom. Be patient and wait for the Lord. Certainly, He will come and glorify Himself in your life. Do not despair: Jesus Christ knows your need and will provide an answer and a solution soon. Recommit yourself to God’s service and rejoice in knowing that those who take care of God’s things will eventually testify that God took care of theirs. Say to the Lord at every moment, “Come, Lord Jesus,” and await His wondrous deeds. Christ Jesus never arrives too late.
(Note: This post was originally published on November 28