My pastor once said that Advent is a time of gratitude “for the gift to come.” “Thank God ahead of time” is how Blessed Solanus Casey put it.
During Advent, we gratefully contemplate meeting the Lord face to face at the end of our lives and we look forward to the memorial of His birthday as true God and true man. The Word was made flesh and pitched his tent among us (John 1:14).
Father suggested three ways to gratefully anticipate Christmas:
- Be open to sharing what you have and who you are. Don’t think it’s not enough. Be like the little boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish (John 6:9), whose small offering was more than enough when combined with God’s grace. Or the little drummer boy in the carol whose humble offering made the baby Jesus smile.
- Be fishers of men. Invite someone to come back to Faith who’s been away for a while. It’s amazing what a friendly invitation can do.
- Be open to an encounter with Christ in Confession. Allow God to pour His love and forgiveness into your heart. Knowing we’re forgiven opens up the floodgates of forgiveness in us — just in time for the holidays!
And, Father added, “Wish to be a saint.” Imitate Bl. Solanus, whose friend described him this way: “When he was speaking with you, you felt that he was constantly God-centered, on fire with love for God. He seemed to see everything as flowing from God and leading back to God.”
Let’s pray for each other that we include a good share of gratitude and joy on our to-do list as we go about preparing for Jesus’ birthday party!