Consider this… Advent joy!

Dec 9, 2022

One of the great struggles of our western culture is that we are always moving onto the next thing. We rarely appreciate the moment we are in, but are always concerned about ‘what’s next’?

As we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, we are to be a people who celebrate this moment. Our season of Advent brings us to this moment in which we find joy in our waiting. It can be difficult to balance the church’s understanding of Advent, with our cultures push to be thoroughly engulfed with Christmas already, but it is important for us to try.

What is our Advent rejoicing about? First, it’s about us being over half way through our Advent season. Our waiting, anticipation and Advent preparations should be starting to bear some fruit. Are you rejoicing yet? Here are a few things for us to help us see if we’re making progress on our Advent preparations.

  1. Reconciliation – Did you take advantage of our Day of Mercy at St. Mary’s? Have you taken advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation yet? If not, we have our Family Penance Service that will be taking place on Thursday, December 15 at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at 7 pm in Clarence. All of our family of parishes priests’ will be there to hear confessions. If that doesn’t fit into your schedule, we have the last two Monday’s in the chapel at 7 pm with Adoration.
  2. Prayer – have you been intentionally spending more time in prayer? Have you and your family made an effort to pray for Advent peace, love, joy and hope? It’s not too late!
  3. Love of neighbor – Advent is about preparing our hearts for Jesus. Jesus instructed us to care for our neighbors and help those who need it. Are we paying attention to the less fortunate, to those who are alone, to those who lost loved ones this year? Are we making an extra effort to reach out to them, pray for them and let them know they are remembered and loved during this time of year?
  4. Manger preparations – is your family setting your manger scene up together? Consider putting one nativity piece in the manger each night up until Christmas. Pray with each figure as it is placed in the manger scene.

A lot will be happening in the next two weeks. This week of Advent rejoicing is to remind us that we are not to lose heart, or cave to the pressures of our culture. Rejoice that we have this Advent time, rejoice that we can prepare for Christ’s coming, rejoice that we have two more weeks of Advent, rejoice! It’s important for all of us to make sure that everything Advent calls us to isn’t forgotten once we arrive at Christmas.

Let’s not lose our Advent focus, but rejoice that Jesus came, that he will come again, and that we have the time now to prepare and be ready for that coming.

Happy Advent… Keep smiling 

Fr. Bryan