“Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope. … It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”
~ Pope Benedict
We are at the beginning of one of the most important seasons in the Church and probably the one that is most often overlooked. Advent is the time of spiritual preparation for Christmas. It prepares us to celebrate the great hope that was brought to us in the person of Jesus Christ. However, Advent has a lot of competition: secularism.
Our world is not tuned in to Advent. It is tuned in to commercialization. If something can make a buck, it has priority over all else. Christmas can make a buck. All businesses know it. That is one of the reasons that Christmas begins so soon. As soon as Halloween is over, radio stations begin to play Christmas music. Christmas displays are up in all the stores. Christmas sales take place long before Christmas even arrives.
By the time Christmas gets here, most people are already tired of it. They have been “Christmased out”, if you will.
We are not getting ready for the ultimate sale. We are not getting ready for the massive office party. We are not getting ready for the gift-exchange-of-all-gift-exchanges. No. We are preparing to celebrate the great gift given to us by God: the gift of His Son. We can only be prepared for that if prepare spiritually. We will not be able to find it on sale in any store.
Let the Season of Advent speak to you. Try to learn about the Season of Advent. There are many on line resources that you can turn to in order to learn more. At our parish, we purchased a membership to FORMED.ORG. If you would like to take part in our membership, go to their web site, click the register button, and use our parish access code: 3MT2CF You will be prompted to enter your email address in order to create your own account. The parish has paid the fee. You can reap the benefits.
I hope that this Season of Advent is a rich and beautiful one for you and yours so that you can celebrate with special joy the birthday of Christ at the end of the month.
FAITH ACTION: Reflect upon the Advents of the past and what made them so special to you.