As of Sunday the 27th Advent is here! Advent is truly a time of anticipation and opening of ourselves even more to the Lord among us at Christmas once again! Let us rejoice in the light of the Lord among us! And let us not get too caught up or lost in the preparations and busy-ness of the trees, the glitter, the gifts and all that can be involved in this special time of year, as wondrous as all that can be. Nothing wrong with the glitz and glitter of this season, but let us not get “lost” in it, nor “lose sight” of the real reason for the season – opening our hearts and lives even more to the presence and light of the Lord in our lives!
Some would ask why we need to open ourselves once again to the Lord? After all, we have done this before, over and over. But, when we are truly honest about our lives, we still have to admit that we have not opened ourselves up to him fully. Like a close friendship in life, if we do not take the time to regularly open up more along the way, if we do not learn to share more of life with one another, getting together can become simply a repeat performance, as it were, when we get together. So, let us seek to make this Advent – Christmas time a new and fuller celebration of life with the Lord and one another, as we seek to let his light shine even more!
The symbol of this Advent season is a great sign of this season – the Advent Wreath. Each week an additional candle is lit as we draw closer to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. And so, at church and often at home folks celebrate this season with the week-by-week lighting of a candle anticipating the full shining of the Lord’s light at his birth at Christmas. Advent is a great opportunity to let His light shine!
Advent, in anticipation of Christmas, is a good chance to open our hearts to the Lord even more than we have before. Let his light shine! And so, a basic question to ask ourselves this season of preparation is not only what will I give to my family or friends at Christmas or what will I get, etc. for Christmas, but where can I draw closer to the Lord in my life, and where do I need to notice and include his presence more, or open my heart more to him? And, the even more basic question throughout this season is: what keeps me/us in the dark, out of his light? As we are able to name those elements of our relationship with the Lord and open ourselves more to his grace, what a difference it makes in our celebrating our life together as his family and as family and friends.
Let the Lord’s light shine! And, let us open our eyes and our hearts even more to his light and his presence this Advent and Christmas and in the days and months ahead! Let the Lord’s light shine always! Let us keep centered in the reason for the season!
Fr. John E. Krumm is Pastor of St. Brigid Catholic Church in Xenia and guest columnist.