Advent is an invitation “to sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world, Pope Francis said on Nov. 27 in St. Peter's Square.
“If, on the contrary, we are conditioned and overpowered by them, it is not possible to perceive that which is much more important: our final encounter with the Lord."—Pope Francis
I understand the difference between having a Happy Holiday (season greeting) and wishing someone a Merry Christmas. One has to do with the Winter Solstice, which has been celebrated long before the birth of Christ Jesus. It is about gifts, merry-making, etc. Advent which is part of the Merry Christmas for those who take Advent seriously has a different flavor entirely. Though gift giving and going to parties can be part of that.
For those Christians who take their faith seriously, the ‘Holiday Season is more than just celebrating gift-giving, parties, shopping, and family get-togethers. It is celebrating its deeply meaningful reason for existing at all. It is about delving into the revelation of the nature of God, of showing us the love of our Eternal Father. So we seek to ponder the Word, and what it means for all of us.
Advent is also a time of ‘waiting’ in expectation. Waiting comes in many forms. I would say that most of them are not pleasant, or desired. In fact, I would say that our lives are simply about waiting, longing, and searching. It is the way that we seek what we long for that can cause so many problems for us.
Giving more time to deepen our relationship with God is the gift that we can give, for God longs for our return of love. To love, seek, and spend time is a choice, and yes, it can be a sacrifice. Time is the coin when it comes to any real relationship. We do not spend time with those we do not care for unless it is somehow related to work or business.
So in Advent, we spend more time contemplating the mystery of the incarnation, the “God with us” event that has changed the world-Br.MD.