Dear Parish Family,
One of our favorite Christmas Carols announces that December is “the most wonderful time of the year.” And for the most part, I would agree wholeheartedly with that note and sing along with the rest of the world. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we would also say that it is one of the most challenging times of the year for Christians who desire to journey through the season of Advent in a manner prescribed by the Church. At this, most wonderful time of the year, our senses are barraged with beautiful lights, festive music, storewide sales and fast paced living. We’re invited here and there and the unhealthy hectic pace often leaves little room for anything even resembling a reflection on what the season is all about. And there lies the danger. How can we embrace the enormity of God taking on flesh and dwelling with us if we don’t do anything to prepare for it? When you think of it, what project, what event, what celebration, what examination or interview is successful if we don’t first put in the time and effort of preparation? Why then would we not spiritually prepare for Christmas?
The season of Advent is all about that preparation. Advent directs us away from the hustle and bustle of the secular world and invites us into a time of prayer, slowing down, listening, and watching in anticipation of what we are about to celebrate. It is a sacred time that allows us to maneuver through the busyness of life long enough to hear the whisper of truth, to experience the love made tangible, to acknowledge the story of salvation and to meet the God who desires us to know, love and serve Him. And when we make the effort to do that, we then can sing right along with the rest of the world, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
On behalf of my brother clergy and the staff of our two parishes, I wish you all a very blessed Advent and a very joyful Christmas.