Dear Friends in Christ,
It is said that repetition is the mother of all learning. As we begin Advent, the season of preparation before Christmas, we will probably hear that Advent means “arrival.” It’s easy to think that we are preparing only for the celebration of the birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, into the world, known as Christmas. Yes, this was the first arrival of Christ which occurred a little more than 2000 years ago, but the readings of the first two weeks of Advent are meant to prepare us for the second arrival of Jesus Christ in our world: when He comes in glory to judge the living and the dead. It could also be said there is a third arrival of Christ in the world: during the consecration at Mass when bread and wine is completely transformed into the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.
As we probably get busy with shopping, Christmas cards, parties, cookies, and more, let’s also make sure to prepare for the many arrivals of Christ. Here are simply a few recommendations to prepare for Jesus’ arrival.
-Reading the Book of the Prophet Isaiah and the Gospel of Luke (or the Gospel of Matthew, of course!)
-Praying the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary
-“Giving presence”: refraining from texting or phone use when with other people; spending time with family or with those at OVH or in nursing homes
-Helping serve Christ in the poor at Catholic Community Supper on Wednesdays at Holy Angels
-Going to Confession/Reconciliation (Day of Grace on December 13)
-Fasting from food, technology, and/or complaining
-Going to a weekday Mass in addition to Sunday Mass
-Forgiving & reconciling with others
-Spending some time in Eucharistic Adoration
-Reading Jesus of Nazareth: the Infancy Narratives by Pope Benedict XVI
These are only a few suggestions; what is essential is that we prepare our hearts for the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, not only in the world but also in our lives. Have a blessed Advent!
Sincerely yours in Christ,