Advent is still ours
Advent is still ours
A message from Diocesan Administrator Msgr. Larry J. Kulick
Advent is a time that is truly ours.
What do I mean by that?
Some of the most sacred times of the year in Western Christendom have not been immune from secularization. Christmas, of course, is one of them, and now even Easter is.
The secular world has taken these seasons and deconstructed them into a time that is different, with an emphasis that is sometimes much different from the seasons’ historical and liturgical origins.
But Advent is still ours.
When you turn on the television, you don’t see the commercial saying, “The biggest Advent sale ever,” or “It’s Black Advent Sunday, come and get your deals.” The world goes from Thanksgiving right into Christmas.
But Advent: It’s still ours.
You and I celebrate Advent, and sometimes it’s difficult to enter into this beautiful season and observe it because the world around us is not in Advent. The world around us is already in Christmas. But as people of faith, embracing the church’s tradition, this rich season is a treasured time for us because it is a time of preparation and anticipation. As the core virtues of this time of preparation remind us, it is a time of faith, a time of hope, a time of joy and a time of love.
When we think about it, it is amazing how preparing, anticipating and taking time to do things have disappeared. We’re an instantaneous society. Our culture doesn’t just want things now — it wants them yesterday.
Yet, Advent as a season is not like this. It is a time of faith. It teaches us patience and perseverance.
Advent reminds us that we must be ready so our faith life may continue to grow and, through our discipleship, allows us to truly come to know Christ even more deeply.
As Christian disciples, being prepared is an integral part of who we are and what we should be about. Our focus and our emphasis must always be on the things above, “Heaven,” not on the things below, “Earth.” It should always be fixed on the gift of salvation. This focus should be refined constantly so we are always ready and prepared for whenever the Lord may come.
How are we going to answer the door when Christ knocks? Are we going to answer it filled with a spirit of peace and faith-filled pride because we have prepared well, or are we going to be flustered and apologizing for the disorganization our house is in?
In our hearts, we want to be prepared. This is what our Lord wants for us as well. Advent is a short period of time. It’s a busy time. It’s a time when so many things, so many people, so many events are vying for our time and energy. During Advent, we are reminded that we have to make each day count and make each day special.
Together, let us recommit ourselves to making Advent really ours. Reclaim it for what it is, a time that is unique. Be prepared to welcome Christ, whenever that may be — the moment of our own death or in the many times that He comes to us daily — so that when He comes, each of us can show by our actions that we are people who believe in Him and are ready for Him.
Let us fill our hearts and our minds and communities with those great virtues of the Advent season — faith, hope, joy and love — so that we are prepared for, as our Lord says, the hour that you do not expect the Son of Man will come. When He comes for you and me, may we be there at the door smiling, because we know all is ready and prepared, and we are proud to welcome Him, to meet Him face-to-face and to indeed show Him what we’ve accomplished by His grace.