In recent times, despite the admonitions to the contrary from Holy Mother Church we as Catholics have steadily drifted away from the true meaning of Christmas. The answer to reversing this sad trend lies not in a relearning of the meaning of Christmas, not at this point at least. One must find the stream before he can drink of its waters. I believe we as Catholics have a serious thirst for the true meaning of Christmas to once again enkindle the fire of love in our frigid spiritual lives. Christmas seems so empty when viewed through the lens of the present “Happy Holidays” mentality. What we need is to regain what we have lost, the innocence, the childlikeness. Where do we begin? Well, quite simply with a child. The Jews, awaiting the Messiah, had all sorts of ideas about what he would be like. None, of course, imagined that the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor, Emmanuel, would come poorer than the poorest of the poor. That he would be born with little or no fanfare, with no witnesses except some shepherds, some wise men, and their animals. That night in the “house of Bread” where the “Bread of Life” was born was not what anyone expected. Yet the journey did not begin there, the life of the Messiah did not begin in Bethlehem, but at His Virginal Conception in the Womb of the Immaculate Conception. There we see the Redeemer within the Co-Redemptrix. There we see the Sacred Heart taking its very blood from the Immaculate Heart. Here is where we must return to if we desire to be inspired with the Love of the Christmas Mystery. Advent is not simply four weeks of waiting before Christmas, No, Advent is four weeks of contemplating the gift that awaits us on Christmas Morn. Advent must be a journey, a expedition into the very depths of our souls. We must venture forth into the longings and thirsts we suffer, into the hunger we have, into the love we need so desperately. We must acknowledge what we are, that is homeless in need of a home, beloveds in need of a lover, wayward children in need of a father. We must, if we intend to enter into the mystery of Christmas, first enter into the mystery of Advent. And if the Mystery of Christmas is indeed the birth of the God-Man then the mystery of Advent must include the longing for the God-Man. Why was Christ Born? Was it not to redeem us? Was it not to give us His Flesh and Blood so we might have life? Was it not to bring The Light to dispel the Darkness? Sight to the Blind? Hearing to the deaf? Motion to the lame? Life to the dead? Indeed Christ came so that we might have life and have it to the full, yet so many take for granted the Graces we received. Through a prayerful recollection of the Mystery of Advent, I intend to inspire within the hearts of the faithful a yearning that can only be satisfied by the birth of our Lord and God. I desire all the Faithful to experience a longing in their very souls for the birth of the Messiah, after all wasn’t the first Advent celebrated as a longing for the Birth of God? Did not Mary, pregnant with Life itself, crave to give birth to Jesus, for He was the answer to all she desired? Indeed if we want to properly experience the Mystery of Advent we can only learn of it from the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. So let us fall to our knees, first in joyous expectation then in profound Adoration at the foot of the manger in which laid the babe who was to save all of humanity through a life of love and sacrifice. Let us begin this journey now, in Advent, in preparation for the birth of the greatest Christmas gift we could ever hope to receive.
“Prepare the way of the Lord!”