As Christians, we are not preparing only to celebrate the secular Christmas that has crept into our year for the last hundred years or more. We are celebrating the coming of Christ, both into our world at the Nativity and again at the end of time. It is time to awaken from our sleepy ordinary time and await the coming of Christ.
NO TIME FOR INSOMNIA
We can get very busy and preoccupied with preparations for Christmas, both secular and sacred. Often, at the bombardment of advertising and “holiday specials” of every kind, from store and Internet sales to Christmas specials on TV and “holiday” parties, we push the peaceful and reflective preparations of Advent to a back burner. Then we get exhausted and sometimes resentful of all that has somehow piled on top of our usual busy lives.
We need to slow down, and perhaps we can eliminate some of the more extraneous parts of this celebration. Do we really need to put lights on our houses, which is time-consuming, and will require taking down again, sometimes too long after the Christmas season has passed? Do we really need all the decorations we put around the house, or would a lovely Christmas tree, a crèche, and some poinsettias do? Do we need hundreds of cookies, or would a few dozen do? Does everyone really need multiple presents, or would one per person do?
Think about how much better this time would be if we could slow down, read, and ponder a scripture reading each day, and not be in such a tizzy that we cannot get a good night’s rest. Today’s urging to “stay awake” does not mean to toss and turn all night pondering the “to do” list and wondering if and how we will get it all done.
THE LIGHT OF THE LORD
What a relief it would be if we had time to ponder the miracle of God-with-us. In our troubled world, we very much need to pray for peace. “They shall beat their swords into plowshares / and their spears into pruning hooks; / one nation shall not raise the sword against another, / nor shall they train for war again” (Isaiah 2:4). If only we could make it so by wishing, but Jesus has said that if we ask for anything in his name, it will be granted. Perhaps we can find time for even a small prayer for our war-torn, weary world.
“O house of Jacob, come, / let us walk in the light of the LORD!” (Isaiah 2:5).
Today’s Readings: Is 2:1¬–5; Ps 122:1–2, 3–4, 4–5, 6–7, 8–9; Rom 13:11–14; Mt 24:37–44
Also in this bulletin:
- Congrats Benny Rodriguez Hispanic Chamber Man of the Year
- Catholic Prayers: Advent Wreath
- Serra Club Adoration and Benediction Nov. 28
- Dec. 5 OLPH Rosary and Novena
- Changes to Diocesan Newspaper
- Raider Boosters Raffle Benefits Bethlehem Center
- Bethlehem Center accepting Christmas Donations
- Shop with SCRIP this holiday season and help GMC!
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Schedule is now available!