And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
I was listening to religious radio the other Sunday, just after Thanksgiving, and the commentator mentioned that we are now in the Christmas Season. Now, I am not a Negative Nelly, correcting everyone for such mistakes. I am happy that they recognize the need to celebrate the season. The better question, Why the rush?
If you are old enough you might remember the days when the decorations were put up on Christmas Eve or in the week before Christmas. Folks prepared for Christmas by living with a sense of anticipation. Anticipation – the old ketchup commercials where they sang Anticipation while the ketchup slowly trickled out of the bottle. Anticipation like in the heart of a child awaiting Christmas morning, a bride her wedding, parents the birth of a child. Those and many other occasions we each know very well.
We Catholics know something of anticipation. In every Holy Mass we await the living presence of the Lord Jesus and our receiving Him in Holy Communion. We live seasonally anticipating the celebration of the key moments in our Lord’s life which encompass our salvation history. It does not all happen right away. Advent calls us to a spirit of anticipation. The Holy Church guides us through this season focusing on our Lord’s coming and echoing Psalm 130: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.
Let us imagine our keeping of this time of anticipation. What awaits us? A grand celebration of forty days beginning Christmas Day and lasting until February 2nd. We will together celebrate those moments of salvation history that focus on family, the impoverished that first met Jesus, and His revelation to the nations. On the other hand we can meet Christmas exhausted, throw out the tree the next day, and miss all Jesus revealed to us. So, let us celebrate by keeping this time of anticipation for if we do the peace of Christ will indeed reign in our hearts.
Think December is busy? You’ll be right. Our schedule is jam packed with activities that help us anticipate Christmas and the Christmas Season. Advent begins a new Church year. We have our Charity Organ Concert on December 3rd at 4pm to support Blessed virgin Mary’s fire recovery fund. Come share in our annual Vigil / Wigilia Dinner on December 10th. Rorate Masses (Holy Mass by candlelight only celebrated Wednesdays at 7:30am) throughout Advent help us prepare. Come help us decorate the church in our Greening of the Church. Read a portion of St. Ephraim the Syrian’s Stanzas on the Nativity and engage in charitable giving of food and clothing for those in need. Too much to mention here, so check it all out in our December 2023 Newsletter.