Friday December 1, 2017

Advent

Let every heart, prepare Him room….

By Ben Swick

 With Thanksgiving weekend coming and going, autumn seems to be wrapped up and the Christmas season is officially upon us. It is now socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music and some of us early birds have already started (and maybe even finished) our Christmas shopping. With all the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday we are now in the season of giving.

 For the Catholic Church, this Sunday marks the start of a new liturgical year as it is the first Sunday of Advent. The word “advent” is a Latin word for “coming.” Throughout this season, we are preparing for the second coming of Christ. It is important to keep this in mind as we prepare for Christmas. For many of us this entails Christmas shopping, decorating, and giving. While we do this, it is important to remember WHY we are shopping and decorating. We give gifts to loved ones because we see God in them. We prepare our homes for our family and friends in a fun and festive way because we see God in them. Many of us decorate our homes with Christmas lights and have a Christmas tree. The lights show that God is the light of the world and he works through us to shed the light on others. He is present in all people, thus the season of giving.

 The first candle of the advent wreath will be lit on Sunday at mass. The wreath represents the time when many people lived in spiritual darkness and waited for the coming of the Messiah, who is the light of the world. During this time, the world is encouraged to not only prepare our homes for the coming of Christ through decorations and gifts, but also our hearts. Advent is a great time to return to the confessional and continue to better ourselves. It is a time for us to shine light on everyone, especially those who need it. We need to remember those people less fortunate than us who might not have the money for a fancy dinner or Christmas gifts of their own. We can give our time and talent by volunteering locally and our treasure by donating to organizations that help the less fortunate. This is such an exciting time for all of us, and it is important to shine our light on others as we prepare our hearts and homes for the coming of Christ.

 Edited by Barb Miller

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