The First Sunday of Advent

The First Sunday of Advent brings with it a whirlwind of activity. Suddenly, we are on a countdown to Christmas, have back-to-back social engagements, and a seemingly never-ending to-do list. So often, we are swept up into the busyness that we lose track of what the season is about. Of course, we know and profess that Jesus is the reason for the season, but practically speaking, how do our lives as Catholic Christians differ from those who are not?

Advent is meant to be a time of preparation, not for Christmas, but rather for Jesus. The final verse in the First Reading stands out to me as we begin this new liturgical year, “yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands” (Isaiah 64:7). I find myself growing hard of heart when I am distracted by the whirlwind of Christmas preparations, and hard clay is very difficult to mold properly.

So, how can we work to soften ourselves to the Lord’s hands this season? Could it be a commitment to daily prayer, an extra visit to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or simply praying through Sunday Mass more attentively? Let us hold each other in prayer this week as we together prepare for the coming of Jesus.