Stay Awake! Prepare The Way Of The Lord— And Make Straight His Path! Call Him Emmanuel—God With Us.
These are some of the gospel themes for the Sundays of Advent 2012.
Advent is a time of cleaning the house of our mortal souls, tidying up our spiritual lives so that the Son of Justice may enter, and so that nothing might distract us from the obvious— “Jesus IS the reason for the season!”
As your pastor, I urge our faith community of St. Rita to take our Advent Themes to heart and mind. Let us not allow Christmas Eve to arrive by surprise. As families, observing Advent could just be the most rewarding stocking stuffer. Lighting the candles of an Advent wreath in the home of a senior living alone could be the assurance that Jesus continues to be light for the journey. Decorating homes and the planning of parties can still be Advent awakening and awareness when the Christ child and the Holy Family are frequently mentioned as the reason why. The wrapping and giving of gifts can be done with a prayer of thanksgiving that each gift be a reminder of the greatest gift when “God so loved the world…”. If you tend to decorate early in the house, try deliberately decorating in a gradual way; keep the Advent wreath prominent until the conclusion of the four weeks and then give it a Christmas makeover with a Christ candle in the middle.
Let us remember that Advent is a personal and communal preparation time, yes, for this year’s celebration of the birth of the Savior, but more importantly it is in preparation for Jesus’ Second Coming, whether at our personal passing over or at the end of all histories! What if this is our last Advent? It shouldn’t then be wasted.
May the Lord fashion himself a people. Blessed Advent to all!