Oftentimes in life we are a society that is rushed for time. We let the secular calendar and anxiety of life creep up on us like a thief in the night, taking away our sense of purpose and belonging in this world as human beings created in His image.
We are also an advanced human species having such luxuries with the false notion that we can be the masters of our own fate. We oftentimes forget or take for granted who is in charge of our true destiny as Christians. It is easy to think that we can plan and prepare for any outcome that may come our way and trust in our own self to be prepared. Sometimes we might try to look for signs, or question events in our life without seeing the small miracles of the Holy Spirit that are there for us in the quiet and stillness of our soul.
The advent season (Latin for coming) and advent wreath is a recent tradition coming from the medieval ages. Such a tradition used to symbolize the pagan sun god to return during the winter solstice. Christians utilize the symbolic wreath as a tradition in which the circular evergreen represents eternal growth and life for which God’s plan of salvation has no limit. The purple candles and vestments represent prayer, penance and a call to be ready for the royal King of kings to come. The lighting of each candle allows us to recognize God’s plan for salvation both in the first coming with the miracle of the Incarnation of His Son Jesus and the second coming for which He will come again (Hope of the world/Prophecy candle). The other respective candles symbolize Love (Bethlehem Candle); Joy (Rose for Shepherd’s candle); Peace (Angel’s candle); and an optional white candle for the light of Christ (Jn. 1:5).
During this Advent season let not the anxiety and secularism of Christmas as a season creep up on us. We should commit to not let our lives be one of “drowsiness” or “drunken stupor” and allow His coming to catch us like a trap and be surprised by His return. Luke’s gospel reminds us that we should always remain vigilant & prepared when the Son of Man might come again. For Jesus to truly come into our life this Christmas season we must empty our hollow shell to make our mangers of our heart ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We must get rid of the “flashy lights” and secular idols that clutter our soul. Being able to acknowledge our complete dependence on the mystery of a lowly baby born in a manger who came to save His people as God’s son made flesh for the world is contrary to our own definitions of independence. After all, this baby would come to save His people by becoming a sacrificial and saving victim for the sin of all mankind. In order to truly prepare for the mystery of this season, let us acknowledge our weaknesses and human fragility. Let us be awake and vigilant for coming tribulations and trials that may occur in our life.
We are a people of hope who have great faith that the light of Christ may illuminate the darkness of our very soul and of the world. Take hope, for this light of Christ Jesus is brighter than any secular “Christmas” light bulb. This season, may our soul and entire being recall the gifts of hope, love, joy and peace which are symbolic of Christmastime and the coming of Jesus, the word made flesh.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.