I sit and think about the many Christmas seasons that have come and gone and the preparations that have been made to make Christmas “merry” without any real attention to the spiritual preparation that should accompany this time of year. Advent really is about God’s mercy for the “Incarnation” witnessed on that first Christmas paved the way for the sacrifice made by Jesus for all of us. It is so easy to get caught up in the secular festivity and to neglect pondering the reason for the season.
That we were in need of God’s mercy at the time and that we still are is evident to those who take stock of the pervasive personal and institutional evil polluting our environment. Not much has changed in the last 2000 years other than the arrival of the Kingdom for evil still abounds and captures the imagination of many.
God’s great love and compassion for His creatures however ushered in the Kingdom with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the Kingdom that stands between us and the forces of evil intent on destroying each of us.
As we prepare for Christmas this year, let each of us resolve to prepare ourselves to welcome our Saviour and thank Him for his love, compassion and great mercy for without Him we would still be chained to the forces of darkness. That preparation might see us spending more time in scripture as we follow the Christmas narrative. For Catholics, that preparation would include celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation and perhaps the attendance at Mass during the weekdays of advent. Try to get closer to Jesus this Advent so that the real joy of Christmas might be a springboard for a new springtime in your relationship with your Savior and the Savior of all. Be proactive and encourage others to join you as you prepare to welcome Jesus and to share the Kingdom with those around you. Light the Advent candle at the Sunday family meal during the Sunday’s of Advent and pray that the light of your faith in Jesus might illuminate the way for those stumbling along in the darkness. We’re all in this together and Jesus wants us to share the fruits of the Incarnation with everyone. Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!