As Catholics, it’s easy to get swept up into the secular Christmastime culture. And, to be honest, there’s nothing wrong, in my opinion, with that. I love looking at lights, trimming the tree, and doing a whole host of holiday activities, even if in November!
Yet, as Catholics, we know there is a different path that we’re also called to take in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Our experience of Advent and Advent history, through prayer and mass, point to what a great hope we have in Jesus, the hope he’s given us through his Incarnation and the hope we have that he will come again.
Advent should ultimately be a time of reflection and prayer, where we get closer to God as we wait for the coming of Jesus Christ. When we consider how long the great heroes of Israel waited for the coming of Lord, putting aside a few weeks of reflection isn’t really much. But, even that is difficult when the world around us started celebrating Christmas before Advent even begins!
I’m not arguing that we need to refuse to celebrate Christmas until midnight mass on Christmas eve, but admittedly, it’s a challenge to remain engaged in the waiting in the midst of parties, lights, decorations, and family functions.
But, it’s a challenge we must accept because Advent is a wonderful time to grow more deeply in our faith and learn to wait for the coming of Christ, in the world and in our lives.