Last week I sat contently in my pew, watching as the rose colored candle was lit when a thought suddenly struck me. I was failing to celebrate Christmas. I can just hear the gasp of disbelief. Could it possibly be that I forgot to bake the cookies, trim the tree, or sing the carols? No, I did all of the usual merriment. What I failed to do was ready my soul for the Savior's birth.
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus, meaning to arrive. It is a season of preparing our souls for Our Lord's coming. Much like the season of Lent, we are to abstain and do penance to purify our souls. I know for myself, I often get so caught up in the "fa, la, la, la, la's" and Christmas shopping that penance becomes an afterthought. Thus I had to stop and ask myself if Christ has become an afterthought too. One hears the slogans "Keep Christ in Christmas" but how often do we ponder the mystery and miracle of that day? Do we adore Our Lord with the humility of the wise men or the sincerity of the Shepard's?
I believe Satan has spent centuries twisting our focus inward, especially this time of year. We become so consumed in trivial matters that we forget the big picture. We forget who and why we are celebrating. I realize that Advent in nearly over. After all it is Christmas Eve. Christmas is the day of Our Savior's birth. So when you sit amidst the wrapping paper and presents remember our Savior and the mystery of that beautiful day.