I would like to say that I was fully concentrating on Mass this past Sunday, but I have to admit reminders of my seasonal extra long to-do list kept popping into my consciousness. I shouldn’t have been surprised when after receiving the communion host, it stuck to the roof of my mouth. It was almost like Jesus asking me to be still and silent; pay attention to Him. After all, He will only be physically present for a few moments in the host until it dissolves. Could I spare the time?
Advent is the preparation time for Christmas, and while it’s great that we want to prepare to celebrate with family and friends, the most important person to celebrate with is Jesus, who truly is the reason for the season. In the journey of life, Jesus has told us “…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:33) If we seek first a closer relationship with God, won’t all the blessings of this celebration be even better?
In some regards Christmas preparations are like preparing gifts for a birthday party for everyone else except the one whose birthday it is. Can you imagine celebrating the birthday of a parent/spouse/child/friend by giving gifts to everyone EXCEPT them? What about if you went out and celebrated but didn’t invite the guest of honor? The Church, in her wisdom, gives us the time to prepare for Christ’s nativity with 4 Sundays to call us to reflection and repentance. In making time to seek Jesus, finding out what our stumbling blocks are and clearing them out, we prepare our minds, hearts and souls to receive Him. By celebrating Him first, we are better attuned to be able to bless others with His love and peace.
Can you spare a few extra moments in reflection of what Christmas is all about? Will we respond to the message of the angels? Can we look at the signs in the stars and start the journey towards His manger? Can we prepare our minds, hearts and souls to be a gift to baby Jesus? He’s not an item on the checklist. But if you give the Lord of Time but a moment, completely and without reserve, you give Him the best gift of all: yourself.