We have made it more than half way through Advent. Next week we will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity and begin the Christmas season. Our joy is even greater, as we passed through Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday. We are nearing the end of this season of waiting in joyful hope, although, we wait in joyful hope daily for the Second Coming.
Something that I have been thinking about is how it is that we come to wait in joyful hope. This season is meaningless to those who do not acknowledge the need for a Savior. In a culture that denies the existence of sin, it is impossible to find that joy. Each of us must look deep into our hearts and realize that we are powerless in the face of sin unless we fall on Christ.
It fascinates me how much the Judeo-Christian archetypes permeate our society and yet we ignore the presence of evil. Our culture tries to shake off its Christian roots, but just can’t seem to do it fully. We are always looking for a hero, a savior: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America, etc. These heroes are all over our culture. There is something in our human make-up that yearns for saving. These are made up heroes, while Jesus Christ, the God-Man came to save all from sin and death. Somewhere deep inside of our depravity we know that we cannot go it alone. Many of us go throughout our daily lives without even looking into our sin. Instead we block it out with noise and distractions. It is difficult to come to grips with the pain and evil of sin. We don’t want to think about it because it causes despair, when it is not viewed in the Light of Christ. As Matthew Kelly says, ‘the division between good and evil is down every human heart, yours and mine.’ Every single person is capable of great evil and great good.
However, because of sin’s destructive nature we cannot battle it alone. In the Light of Christ, we begin to see our terrible ways and desire to correct them. That desire can only come from Him, cleansing and healing only come from the grace of Jesus Christ. He shows us the path of holiness to walk. He shows us the Way. Without Him as a guide we wander from one sin to the next, without even understanding that our unhappiness comes from those sins.
There are so many people throughout the world who live this season without Jesus Christ. Our society at large focuses more on buying things than it does on what Christmas is all about. Meanwhile, the Church waits peacefully throughout Advent for the True Gift of Christmas, the Incarnation. Our joy is made complete in Him. Without Jesus Christ there is no Advent and there is no Christmas. Instead we have another day, that may come with some happiness with family and friends. It may come with the fleeting happiness of a new possession acquired. But, it does not bring peace to our restless souls. Instead December 25th is a day like any other day, that passes all too quickly.
As Catholics, we need to show the world where True Joy lies. He is in a manger waiting to free us all. We wait for one more week for His coming at Christmas. Our anticipation building, not because of shiny boxes and twinkle lights. No, it is because Love is calling each one of us, and when we accept, it is joy that we receive. Advent is truly a blessed season because it reminds us what we truly long for and it cannot be bought. It is freely given, we only have to accept and follow Him. Advent blessings!