First Sunday of Advent
The Church celebrates the feast of the Birth of John the Baptist in June, around the time of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. From John’s feast onward, days become shorter and light decreases. Now, during Advent, we approach the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, which includes nature’s promise of more light to follow.
John knew he must decrease so that Christ may increase. We can take his analogy into our hearts. As we prepare for the coming of Christ, we can try to understand how we can decrease so that Christ may increase in our hearts and in the world.
Thanksgiving rituals of family, food, and friends prepared us for the coming weeks of increasing darkness. The outside world is already in Christmas frenzy, urging us to get out there and shop, shop, shop. But the externals of power and possessions do not satisfy the longing.
No matter how much we accumulate, there is something else we need. As God’s creations, we can only find security in God’s care. Too many times we forget that, and waste time wandering around in the dark looking for substitutes.
“Advent Day by Day—Search for Light”
As we begin this Advent, as we wait for the Return of the Lord, and as we prepare to celebrate his First Coming at Christmas, may we take time to “step back a bit” and look in wonder and awe at all that we are and all that we have. May we look at ourselves with a new set of eyes, appreciative of the gifts of life, love, and family.
Instead of looking for “new,” “bigger,” and “better,” may we make a conscious effort to celebrate anew what we already are and what we already have.
With a sense of simplicity, may we, in Faith and Trust, once again grab hold of our many gifts, celebrate them and share them.
“The Lord is Coming!” How are we waiting for His Return? Do we continue to deaden our senses with “new,” “bigger,” and “better,” or are we awakening to the present moment? Are we becoming more appreciative of the miracles of life, love, and family in our midst?
Will this Advent be “frenzy” or “quiet”? Will this Advent bring us closer to the Lord and to one another? Or will it be a time to accumulate more things—“new,” “bigger,” and “better”?
Let’s make this a good Advent!
— Fr. Mike