Another New Year’s Eve
Here we are again on the eve of another Liturgical Year. With Vespers, we end another year of grace and begin the Advent Season. My question is “are you ready?”
There are many things to think about as we prepare for Christmas and sometimes that gets in our way of celebrating the season of Advent. So how do you “prepare to prepare” exactly?
I have three suggestions that have worked for me in the past and I’ll pass them on to you:
1. Have a welcoming heart. From Thanksgiving through Epiphany people are traveling, exchanging gifts, and cards and visiting with family and friends. Don’t let people or things become inconvenient for you – let love and hospitality and generosity be what they remember about you and your wishes for a “Merry Christmas!”
2. Participate in the journey of Joseph and Mary spiritually. This was not a tour of the Holy Land. This was not even their choice, it was ordered by Caesar Augustus, this census. Maybe you’ve had to follow a law you didn’t agree with or even have been displaced for the convenience of someone else. We’ve known people who have turned us away, figuratively or literally. Share in Mary and Joseph’s journey because their Son is present in yours.
3. Consider what kind of year do you desire for yourself and others? What would it look like? Humor, Kindness, acceptance, forgiveness, mercy, prayerfulness, patience, happiness, …
Pick a virtue that you want to practice and take it one month at a time.
It’s true that Advent and Christmas aren’t “the most wonderful time of the year” for everyone, but we remember them, the loved ones we have lost, and trials we have experienced. Yet as the lights go down on many of our accomplishments and dreams, Advent is the time to remember that Jesus is the light of the world, and is with us always.
Father Michael Greene