Amidst the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and all the preparations for Christmas, let us not forget to pause and remember to celebrate the season that is often skipped over or forgotten. The Season of Advent is a time of preparation so may I suggest we hit the pause button and ponder why the Church, in Her wisdom, has given us these four weeks to prepare for the coming of Jesus.
Just like the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph prepared for the coming of their Son, we too are invited to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of our King! There is no question we are living in difficult times, with division and discord seemingly at every turn. We certainly can’t deny that we truly need a Savior, but are we truly prepared to welcome the King of Kings? Is this world ready for all that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is willing and waiting to bestow upon us?
Advent is a great time to recall our purpose in life. God created each of us in His image and likeness; to know, love and serve Him. To know Him requires effort, desire, sacrifice, time…and ultimately love. Whether it be through personal prayer, praying with the Scriptures, spending time before the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration or through the reception of the Sacraments, we will encounter the living Jesus who is waiting for us to get to know Him. It is in getting to know Him that we learn to love Him and it is in loving Him that we can truly begin to serve Him. Our hearts were created for Communion with our Savior and our hearts remain restless until they rest in Him. This Advent Season, if you find yourself restless, harried and running around “preparing” for Christmas, you might consider truly preparing your hearts, not for a day or a celebration, but for a Person. The Person of Jesus Christ comes to us humbly and quietly as a newborn babe, One who is worthy of ALL of our attention, our worship and our praise!
In today’s second reading, we are reminded that our God is a God of hope, endurance and encouragement. In these days of hustle, bustle, division and discord, let us look to the Lord and be reminded of our true purpose. It is not about fancy parties, extravagant gift giving, or decking our halls and homes. Although all of these things are good, they will never suffice, nor fulfill our hearts for what and for Whom they were truly made.
We were made to give glory and honor to Jesus, our Savior and our King so, “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:5-6)
If we prayerfully prepare for all the Savior has to bestow upon us, then this Advent, this beautiful and precious time of waiting, with expectant faith and hope, will be well spent. Not only will our hearts be truly ready to receive the greatest gift this world will ever know, but also, the King of Kings will be given just a tiny bit of the glory and honor He so deserves! Let us learn from little Christina Dangond, who so beautifully, with childlike faith, knew all too well how to prepare her heart to meet Her Savior and King. Jesus, we trust in You!
May it be so…
Colleen M. Donohoe was born and raised just North of Boston, the youngest of 7 children. She is the proud “Auntie” to 17 nieces and nephews and 5 great nieces and nephews who bring tremendous joy to her life! For the past 25 years, Colleen has served in a variety of roles in the Archdiocese of Boston, primarily as a Catholic Educator. After spending many years as a theology teacher and campus minister, she currently serves as the Associate Superintendent of Catholic Identity and Respect Life Educator for the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools. It is a great honor and blessing for Colleen to continue little Christina Dangond’s legacy to “Build the Faith” wherever and however God calls.