All I want for Christmas is my…NOOO! Ok, I get it…she IS adorable! As my niece Bella proudly shows her tooth and her adorably gapped smile, I know it’s tempting to want to ask her to sing a lispy rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” BUT NOOO! Resist and Insist! RESIST wanting to rush off too soon to Christmas AND INSIST on living out every breath of this shortened Advent season (we only have a little more than three weeks this year). No sooner would a parent want to rush the birth of a child in the womb along until he/she is ready, should we want to prematurely deliver the celebration of the Nativity!
From the moment we drape the purple candles in pine and holly, from the beauty of barely-remembered-hymns and chants that are passed on to us from generations long ago, to those empowering Scripture readings from those prophetic voices of Jeremiah-Baruch-Zephaniah-Micah-Isaiah that urge us to never forget God’s promise to save us no matter what, we are given this Advent time to restore us to a better sense of God’s merciful time (kairos in the Greek). Advent prepares us not to just celebrate a birth of the King from 2000 years ago, but to help ready ourselves for the Second Coming of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, to rejoice in the fact that He came in fragile flesh for YOU. Advent is all about our whole story of Salvation! In Advent’s stillness we know all will most certainly be well! Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “Awaken! Remember that God comes! Not yesterday, Not tomorrow, but Today, Now! To free us from evil and death, from all that prevents our true happiness. God comes to save us!” Please resist anything that makes you rush past Advent just to shove in Christmas. Take time to pray over the daily Scripture/Mass readings that help make sense of how the Old Testament fits perfectly with the New Testament. Sing and celebrate the O Antiphons with a new understanding. Come to daily Mass with hearts wanting Emmanuel! Dare to come back every Advent night from 9:00-9:14 p.m. with our teens for Compline/Night Prayer in Adoration. Just breathe it all in, hear her sounds, rejoice in her time…Advent is here!
This week offer a prayer of thanks for our very own Terri Evans who will be the recipient of the Catholic Charities Bishop Anthony M. Pilla Leadership Award for her three decades of volunteering to serve adults with special needs. Terri, you are such a joyful reminder of Emmanuel!
Maranatha (Come Lord Jesus).
(N.B. As the inevitable gift-giving season gets underway, I ask for you to use our Scrip Gift Card Program. There’s no door-to-door selling, no tickets, and nothing to lose. Just buy our certificates, do your regular shopping, and a small percentage is returned to the parish. Please make it a regular commitment to at least purchase your weekly “gas and groceries.” It is a small thing that everyone can easily do and our school will reap big benefits.)