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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Live Advent!

When I was in college I had a philosophy professor who would give us a quiz at the start of each class. The question s would range from topics from class reading to something he may have seen on his drive that morning. His purpose was twofold: 1. To take attendance, and 2. To begin the lecture and class discussion from the perspective of everyday life. At the end of the quiz everyone would pass their answers to the front of the row and he would collect them. One day I was sitting at the head of the row. When he came to collect the papers, I said “Merry Christmas!” It was the spring semester, so it was a bit of humor on my part to an ordinary classroom activity. He actually stopped, called the attention of the rest of the class and told them what I had said. He turned to me and said “Thank you very much.” He then said to all of us that Christmas isn’t just a once a year be nice to everyone season. It is a 365 day a year way of life. If you are serious about Christmas, live it. The same could be said about Advent. Yes, liturgically the Church marks Advent for four weeks out of the year. In reality, it is lived everyday by the Christian. Advent isn’t about getting ready for the birth of a newborn. It is about anticipating and preparing for Christ’s return. Advent reminds us that God is beyond ouir comprehension, as is His vision and His plan. When he offers us his love, he is not just thinking what we will need for this earthly life, he is thinking of our perfect union with Him that is only possible in the heavenly kingdom. Our lives on earth are spent preparing for that. Learning more about this God and uniting ourselves more and more to Him. The sentiments of hope, joy, peace and goodwill to all are characteristics of this preparation. We come to realize-and experience-that the darkness that exists in our world does not have power over God. Our lives are spent opening our minds and hearts to the light of Christ. The more we nurture our relationship with Christ, the less we fear, the more we love. Let us take advantage of this season of Advent, but let us seek to live Advent 365 days a year.

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