“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be watchful! Be alert!…’ ”
Advent is a challenging time for Catholics. With the exception of Mass, it’s easy to let Advent be consumed and overshadowed in our daily lives, as society pushes Halloween into Christmas with a small glint of Thanksgiving thrown in.
“….You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.”
I walked into HEB (a local grocery store) on Halloween and the Christmas candy was on the shelves, unopened but ready for the moment the clock struck 12:01am on November 1. We’ve been inundated with Christmas ads, Christmas decorations, Christmas music… and the list goes on and on since Halloween. Many times these things are a distraction, though sometimes these things can be good and help us prepare for Advent, if we allow them to. They can help us watch for the Lord. They can make us aware of Christ’s coming and perk up our senses to being aware of God’s presence and the birth of our Savior.
“Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.”
But often being inundated with so much Christmas ads, decorations, musics, it distract us from the beauty of the Season of Advent. Advent, the beautiful Season of Preparation for Salvation born to for us on Christmas day. We often begin Advent hopeful of all the things we’ll do to prepare for Christmas, both in the home and spiritually. But then the monster that is secular Christmas Season encroaches on our plans. We get tired of hearing the Christmas music. We become exhausted by how “perfect” our house must look as we decorate for Christmas. We feel both financially-strapped and time-strapped, as we search for presents for family members and friends. Resulting in the hope, peace and joy in our Advent preparation for Christmas being drown out.
“May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
In an effort to help us watch and prepare for Christmas day, our Austin CNM Advent Challenge is back. As in year’s past, each blogger will provide daily challenges along with their blog post, denoted with our Advent candle graphic. You’ll find ideas that are practical, spiritual, charitable and more. So don’t be caught sleeping! Watch! And prepare.
Prepare for Advent, which is around the corner and starts THIS Sunday, November 30 (3 days away)! Make a plan for the Season of Preparation of Salvation born on Christmas day. Consider an extra morning or evening prayer, give something up, perform daily charitable acts, read a book throughout the Advent Season, give yourself 5 minutes of quiet reflection time a day… whatever will stick with you through the busy season and help you stay focuses on the Advent season and watch for the Christmas season.