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Preparing for Advent


markdohle

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Preparing for Advent
 
Advent is the season of preparation - getting ready for Jesus. Are you ready for His coming during this wonderful time of year? His coming in the flesh Son of God, Son of Mary. His Birth is the central event in human history. Christ came into the world and His birth has affected the world as none other. Come join us as we prepare to receive Him!
 
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The Advent season and the Holiday Season coincide but are quite different in their purpose. When this is not understood properly, it is easy to get caught up in the ‘gift-giving’ and the Advent aspect can easily be put in the background. It is not enough to simply light a candle every Sunday during Advent but to focus on the meaning of the candles all through the week. As well as using the missal to pray over the scripture readings, and other readings that are often put in the daily missals that people have subscribed to.
 
There is nothing wrong with the holiday season. Yet one can get carried away by the cultural binge on hyperactivity which can take away from the experience of waiting for the birth of Our Lord. To focus on the meaning of Christ-Mass can soothe the soul, grounding it in what is truly important and meaningful. The gift of Advent is, of course, Jesus, who is the revelation of the Father’s love. For to see Jesus is to see the Father.
 
It can be a time to let go of habits that we do every day that can actually be a waste of time. To spend some time pondering the Incarnation in prayer can be done a set times every day. True, it takes discipline, but it is discipline, that keeps us focused, and the tendency to be run haggard lessens.
 
It is a busy time, try to find some time to simply be, to rest in the Lord’s presence in this Holy Season of Advent. Advent can be a buffer from the madness that seems to overtake people at this time, leaving them depressed, and exhausted when the Advent/Christmas season is over.
 
Also, if this time of the year is depressing and brings back memories and experiences that are distressing, changing focus from the parties' and good cheer to the Incarnation, can be truly healing.
When someone wishes me a happy holiday season, I return the greeting. When someone says Merry Christmas, I of course return that blessing as well.
 
The gift-giving season can be truly joyful. That joy will deepen when we understand that ‘The-Gift” is a revelation of God’s love in Jesus Christ. This Advent, make your faith something real.-Br.MD
 
 

Edited by markdohle

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Mark, this good, but not all. Why? The idea of having singled out a particular holiday season, a cutout portion of the year, for being merry, jolly and giving, just does not cut the mustard. My uncle Andrew taught me that in his house everyday was Christmas day.  Besides, most of the giving is just an exchange of material things between the non-needy. I would say that when we struggle to think of what to get, for others who already have just about everything, I would say we have had enough of this kind of Christmas spirit for giving.  We need to give more of ourselves, and not just for at Christmas season, it's a daily thing.

I'm not saying that we are all materialists, giving and taking material things only, but it looks to me that it's the majority, a big majority. I wish more people would read A Christmas Carol, or watch a watered-downed screenplay of A Christmas Carol. Although there may be an iota of evidence floating around, as crazy as it may sound, which argues that Charles Dickens was not the original author, as he plagiarized it, and then watered it down a bit himself. In the Original, perhaps the 3 Ghosts of Christmas; past, present and future, where not the ones that scared the daylights out of Scrooge. And it It may have been only one spirit involved. The Holy Ghost.  

Unfortunately, I have to say that the vast majority of Christians do not have the proper spirit in mind, when it come to Christmas. We must love our neighbors all year around, and much more than we love receiving and giving holiday material gifts. However, we need those things too, but the poor needed much more.  

A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’

21“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

We must follow Jesus' teaching everyday, not just on Christmas. But we do have many rich persons that are charitable everyday, but only because it's for income-tax deductions purposes, mainly, and foremost. Why don't even the Gentiles do that much? The poor badly need their daily bread, and we have more than our fill of bread, as we have enough in our food pantry to let it get moldy and then throw it away.

Give us this day our daily bread, and not just around Christmas.

God did give us a great gift in Jesus, otherwise all could not see what God really looks like. He's a really big chip, a boulder really, off the old block. Jesus, the Son who resembles our heavenly Father the most. 

Mark, I hope you don't mind my comments as being contradicting to your entry. I commented only as a kind of addendum, as I see this as strengthening your intended motive.

May Jesus return soon, he's overdue, and promised to return.

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Your comments were good.  It is when people start to take their faith seriously and study and ponder and pray over it that the Advent/Christmas season can be a time of renewal and not of exhaustion. 

Peace
Mark

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