Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of Christ the King, which means that the liturgical year has ended. A new one begins with Advent, the season in which we prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas, and in His Second Coming.
It’s all about endings and beginnings; comings and goings; transitions from the ordinary to the extraordinary; from life to death to eternal life.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the spiritual dimension of Advent can be forgotten. What used to be viewed as a “mini Lent” now seems to be just the time of year in which we shop for gifts and have parties. Could it be something more?
A bit of quiet time reflecting on the “reason for the season” might help keep things in perspective. Take a moment to prepare for the first Sunday of Advent. Ponder this: the end is near! We don’t know when Jesus will return, but the fact is He will “return” for each of us individually at the moment of our deaths. Are we ready? Are we even thinking about getting ready?
Most of us don’t like thinking about our own demise, and we’d rather put off thoughts of repentance until we are “old.” However, as Christians we know that “getting right with God” is something that we should attempt to do each day of our lives, not something we can afford to delay.
God is always ready to receive us back and help us to make things right. The Sacrament of Confession is available to us year round. This year, why not begin the Advent season by taking advantage of the graces that can be found there?
Perhaps you can take some time this week to do some spiritual reading, pray the rosary, or spend some time in Eucharistic adoration. Maybe a visit to homebound neighbor will put things in perspective. Maybe there’s a child who needs to hear an extra story. Take the time to take a time out this week, before Advent begins, to put yourself in the right frame of mind for a peaceful season.
Fr. George Berendt, PIME will be sharing his homilies for Advent here in the upcoming weeks. Stop back to read them and reflect on the Sunday readings with us. Life is busy for all of us, and there are so many things vying for our attention. A few moments away from the cares of the world – taking the time to focus on what really matters – will go a long way.
Please keep the PIME Missionaries in your prayers this season and always. You remain in ours!