This time of year lends itself so easily to jamming our days full of tasks in a whirlwind of holiday preparations. Presents need to be bought, houses need to be decorated, and cards need to be sent. For students, finals are coming and it’s time to make plans for Christmas break. The days are getting shorter and it seems like there could never be enough time to do all that needs to be done. But how blessed we are that our Church calls us to slow down and prepare our hearts for Christmas in this time of year during which life can so easily become a series of frantic chores. This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, a liturgical season in which we are given the opportunity to prepare ourselves to celebrate worthily the birth of our Savior, the King of the Universe, who humbled himself and became man. We are invited to look forward in anticipation towards Christ’s return, when he comes again in glory.
It’s easy to just kind of skip over Advent. We’ll light the candles of our Advent wreath and open the doors of our Advent calendar, but we won’t necessarily take the time to make sure we are preparing our hearts. Let’s not do that this year. Let’s take some time to meditate on Christ’s wondrous Incarnation. Let’s turn to him and ask for his mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Let’s make time each day for silent prayer and reflection. Let’s more intensely focus on his total gift of self to us in the Eucharist. In thinking of his coming at Christmas and preparing ourselves for his return, we should be drawn to think about whether we are allowing ourselves to receive Christ in our daily lives. He is inviting us, we only have to respond with a genuine “Come, Lord Jesus!”
-submitted by Terry Cahalan, OSU Mission Leader