December 1, 2013
With Christmas music playing on radio stations, all the stores raging with their “holiday” sales, the stress of getting the Christmas baking done and the decorations up, it’s time for us to stop and take in the season of Advent. In the wisdom of the Church, she gives us this time within the year to focus and meditate on our Savior’s birth into our world.
Do I realize that if Christ didn’t become man and give His life freely to pay for my sins, I would be separated eternally from God by death? There would not be any chance of going to Heaven. We would not have the sacraments—baptism, reconciliation, the Eucharist, confirmation, holy orders, matrimony, and anointing of the sick. We would not have the infused gifts of faith, hope and love and would not be part of God’s family because that happens in baptism. Think about this.
The appropriate response is gratitude. Make a habit of thanking God each day of Advent for the gift of His Son. When those feelings of doubt, distraction and discouragement surface in your day, turn to God and thank Him for one of His gifts to you today. Our hearts should echo the words of St. John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30).
If our focus this season is on the presents, food, decorations, travel plans, etc., and not on Christ, the enemy will succeed in His diabolical plan for us this Advent and Christmas. “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith” (1 Pt. 5:8-9). Rejoice, for He is near!