Fr. Peter Daly
November 7, 2002
A full week before Halloween, I noticed that somebody just up the highway from me already had decorations up for Christmas. On their lawn was a huge Santa riding a sleigh across the crab grass. Over the drive was a giant lighted archway with a sign in lights that proclaimed, “Happy Birthday Jesus.”
While I am happy about the sentiment expressed by their electrical tribute to the incarnation, I wondered if the people who decorated their lawn so early are also in the habit or sending out birthday cards a full two months early. Could it be that they are rushing things a bit?
We have a tendency to want to rush ahead to get done with the preparation and get to the celebration. But if we rush too much, we miss something important. We miss the journey.
Just as the exile made
That is the point of Advent. We shouldn’t rush it. If we skip ahead to Christmas, we won’t know what it is that we truly desire when “the Word becomes Flesh and dwells among us, full of splendor and truth.”
For me, this Advent will be a time
waiting and yearning for three things that ancient
Peace is obvious. Acts of terror abroad and sniper attacks
close to home have made us realize how much we want peace, a peace that the
world cannot give. Only the power of God dwelling among us can set things
right. So we pray like ancient
Reconciliation is perhaps less obvious, but at the heart of what the Messiah brings. Like everyone, I feel the need of reconciliation.
Having lived half a century I know that I have some fence mending to do. I think we all do. Over the years we have hurt, disappointed, and ignored people.
I think my Advent will be a success
if this time of yearning for the Lord is spent reconciling with others. That is
after all what
The third thing I want this Advent
is guidance. This has been a tough year for the Church in general, and for
Catholic priests in the
But like the wise men who came to Christ, we need guidance to know where to go from here. The whole Catholic Church needs light to overcome the darkness of the scandals of this past year and get back on our path. Advent will be a success if at Christmas we can see the path.
Advent has a lot to teach us. It refines our desires and focuses our yearnings. If we skp Advent, we don’t really have something to celebrate at Christmas. Don’t rush it.