Taking Advent Seriously

By Christopher Lenart, a parishioner at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Naperville, who is posting once a month, every month, on this blog, writing about faith-related matters, To contact Christopher, email him at clenart@comcast.net. To learn more about him, go to his website: https://www.disabilityawareness.us/

Advent is here. Unbelievable — where does time fly to? I feel like I was just writing a blog post for August. Like I just said, Advent is here, but do we really know what this time is for? It is not to shop for gifts for Christmas, although I love to shop this time of the year. But Advent is much more than that. The Church says that it is to prepare for the Lord.

How do we prepare for the Lord since He has already come? Since I was a programmer analyst, I think logically; this does not make sense. Actually, most things in the Catholic Church don’t make a lot of sense if you really think about it. For example, there are three persons in one God, or Communion is Jesus’ body, but it tastes like nothing. So, where is the logic?

This is where faith comes into the picture. When we have faith, we are telling God that we do believe in these things that don’t make sense at all. Since the Bible truly says that Jesus Christ will come back, we have to amend our lives for the Lord. So, how do we do that in less than four weeks? Again, there is no way of doing that, so why try then? It doesn’t make sense, and we fall into a trap that Advent is nothing special, so we go through the motions of it. I admit that I am the person who does it too.

If God is really three persons in one and Communion is really Jesus’ body, we have to prepare the coming of the Lord too. How do we do that?

First of all, we have to pray more. When I was a child, we used to have an Advent wreath at home. We lit the candles during dinner. It made us to think about the Lord more. For me, it represented that Christmas was approaching. The smell of fresh wreath would fill the house, and we would enjoy the smell entire Advent. It made us remember what Christmas all is about.

These days people sometimes put their Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving or even before it. I love Christmas trees a lot because they are so beautiful. There is a flaw with putting it up early, and, that is, by Dec. 26, we are tired of the tree. Actually, the liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in January.

If the biggest miracle is God coming down to earth as a baby, should we clean our hearts and lives to welcome God in our hearts at Christmas? The answer is YES. That is what Advent is for: to clean our hearts so on Christmas we can receive God in our lives. I urge you to take Advent seriously this year. The stores will be open on Christmas Eve, so prepare yourself first and get the gifts later.