Painting by St. Francis Breadline

The Advent Season is once again upon us.  It is a time in which the world, at least the northern hemisphere part of the world, finds the nights longer, the days colder.  In the past, the harvest was in, much of the work was done and families found themselves indoors with time to think and to prepare for the Christmas Season.  Great anticipation waiting for the celebration of light that would transform the darkness.

Today, we still celebrate Advent as a time in which we wait for the light of the world to come into our lives.  We prepare for that. Mary, one of the key figures of Advent, is perhaps the greatest example of what this time is all about.  She prepares and gives birth to the Savior.  200o years ago she bore him in her womb and every Advent we prepare ourselves to give new birth, new life to Christ.  Nothing less, nothing more noble than to bring that light of God more fully in the world.  We are reminded once again to be light bearers.

How do we do that?

Well,  we all know that in our busy world, the Season of Advent is usurped by the Christmas rush and if you are like me, all attempts to slow down with Advent prayer books and Advent calendars last for about 3 maybe 4 days tops.  It seems impossible for most of us to slow down and what we actually end up doing is speeding up.  Tis the season of rushing and worrying about money.

Yet, no matter where the shopping frenzy pulls us , Advent still calls us to bear Christ.

Today, perhaps more than ever, the world desperately needs the presence of Jesus.  Our world so desperately needs the light of Christ to help guide it and to illumine the way for so many people lost and fumbling in the dark. We can still deliver Jesus. After all, he still is the greatest Christmas gift we can give if we allow him in to brighten our lives and shine through us so as to brighten the lives of others.  In just a few short weeks we are called to give him the space to once again be born to the world in and through us. Like Mary, we await with great anticipation.  So now, prepare.

Become Him.  Bring Him.   Become His light.  Bring His light.

Advent, no matter how busy we are, still calls us to give God a form in our form, a presence in our presence, and shape in our shape. This year, remember to give the gift that keeps on giving, Jesus Christ, the son of God, our brother, the best that we can be.