A happy and blessed Advent season to all of you. Why exactly do we have Advent? For the same reason that we have Lent before Easter. It’s a time to step back and reflect on what we are getting ready to celebrate and consider how we are to prepare ourselves for that celebration. In this case, we are preparing to celebrate the coming of the Christ Child, born to set His people free and fulfill God’s promise to them. But we are not only to prepare for the physical aspect of His coming, but also for the spiritual aspect: Christ’s coming in our own hearts and souls so that we can spread His coming and Good News to others. And something else to remember is that this preparation and first coming of Christ foreshadows our preparation for His Second Coming. We are welcoming Him into our hearts, souls, and minds now so that we may be ready to face Him when it comes time for Him to come again.
Last evening, I watched the Mass on EWTN and the celebrant was Fr. Zachary, S.O.L.T. He brought up two questions that are helpful in our own Advent pilgrimage, as he called it:
- How did Mary prepare? It’s important for us to reflect on this because She was to be the Mother of Jesus, the one who was to bring Him into the world. If we are to prepare to welcome Christ into our lives and bring Him to others, we should consider how Mary Herself prepared and ask Her to show us what we need to see in those preparations.
- We should ask Jesus what He wants for His Birthday. Yes, He wants US, but for every person the way in which he or she gives themselves to Him is different. Jesus, what do You want from me specifically this Christmas? If we sincerely open ourselves up and are willing to work to give Jesus what He wants from us, then we will surely be happy and be rewarded.
Advent is a time of prayer and preparation, but also of penance. It is necessary if we wish to truly put ourselves aside and welcome Christ. If you haven’t been to Confession in a while, please consider Advent as the time to start going again. Little acts of self-denial and mortification will also aid in your penitential preparation. We must refocus on God and make Him the anchor of our lives. May God bless you during your Advent journey and may He lead you to truly experience the joy and happiness of the birth of Our Savior at Christmas.