I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday in the first week of Advent and I haven’t weighed in yet. It’s a time of watching, waiting, and preparation for the coming of our Savior.

Jesus followers are swimming upstream as we will be for the next several weeks. Maybe we always are, in many ways. But at this time of year, most of the western world is all spun up buying gifts, attending parties, overeating and over-imbibing, preparing large dinners or grocery shopping in advance, spending too much money for too many presents for too many people.

But for many Christians, it’s a time to be still and to listen. It’s a time to prepare our hearts to provide Jesus a warm, welcoming place. If we are true to the purpose of these days, we can be the calm in the storm of “the holidays” for other people. If we are true to our Lord, we should be a beacon of hope and joy for the stressed out hordes who don’t make time for Him, who have actually forgotten all about Jesus and what His arrival means for them and for all of humanity.

Once Christmas day arrives, we will begin to celebrate the epic event of Jesus’ incarnation for the next few weeks. Because this is such a pivotal moment in the history of the world, we can’t celebrate for just one day. Once again, though, we’ll be straining against the rest of the crowd that will immediately move on as soon as the clock flips to 12:01 a.m. on the 26th of December. The world will be preparing for New Year’s Eve! Christmas will be over for the vast majority of non-believers. But in my faith we will only begin singing carols on Christmas eve and we’ll sing them for days afterwards during the true Christmas season.

Life is tough for Catholic Christians any time of year. We are thought of as, at best “old fashioned,” at worse “bigots” or superstitious nuts. But then Jesus never said it wouldn’t be. In fact, He promised that “in this world you will have trouble.” So we are not surprised to find very few are continuing to rejoice with us. But we will anyway, and we’ll (hardly ever) complain.

Have a blessed Advent and a very Merry Christmas season!

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