Happy Advent! It might surprise you but Advent is actually a “penitential” season of the Church. It may be tough to see through the Christmas trees and bright lights and presents and the large man with the white beard dressed in red - but it is “But Father, hasn’t 2020 been penitential enough?” Yes. It has. “Don’t we deserve a little bit of joy right now?” Yes. You do. The joy that is offered to us during this time of year that truly lasts is the grace of Jesus dwelling in our hearts. And this joy lasts much longer than any present under the tree left by Santa.
The days leading us into Christmas can obviously be a fun time. Go to Peddlers Village and just walk around with all the lights (but be safe and wear a mask). Go cut down a Christmas tree with your family (but really be safe). Light a fire in the fireplace or outside and decorate the house while listening to B101.1 (which might as well play Christmas music all year round now with how early they start). There are so many beautiful things to do this time of year.
But don’t be completely distracted by all the lights and decorations that you don’t spend time in prayer, kneeling at the manger of our Lord, and remembering what God the Father gives to us at Christmas. In the season of giving don’t forget to receive. The wise men who kneel at the feet of our Lord and offer him the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh receive far more from Jesus than their offerings to Him as a baby. They receive the promise of eternal salvation. They receive that eternal joy into their hearts.
May we (safely) enjoy this season leading up to Christmas. We do deserve, after this crazy year, to enjoy all those little things. But, let us also humble our souls and pray for the grace to receive the eternal joy God the Father wishes to give to us in His Son.
May the Lord give you His peace,