Saturday, November 29, 2014


By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

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]n him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 5-7

“Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.  May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”  Mark 13:35-37

Our piety challenges us to be awake to the coming of the Lord. The significance of the one coming demands more attention and preparation than we would normally give to just anyone arriving. Our piety calls us to watch for the coming of the Lord. The four weeks of celebration of the coming are just about right to teach us the importance of the coming of Christ. Great expectations bring more preparation. Piety allows us to be prepared because it keeps the Lord of our hearts close.

How we prepare ourselves for the coming of a loved one is a factor of how much we care about the one who is coming. It is God that calls us to be prepared for the coming of his Son. Our world that once celebrated the coming of Christ is seriously off key in it celebration. Gifts are not what Christmas is all about if we reflect on the reality of the coming of Christ. God gives us his Son. Our gifts are slivers of ourselves at best. The challenge of love is to give our lives for the sake of each other. Christmas has lost much of its meaning in the false glitz that distracts us from the cave of the stable where Christ came into the world. We need a powerful reminder that the season of Christmas is not about how much money we are going to spend to get something for those we love. The birth of Christ into the poverty of his parents must mean much more than how much money we are going to spend on improving wardrobes. We need to study how to reinstall the thought that God loves us so much that he wants to be one of us. We study how to make Christmas a remembrance of how we should be like Christ in all the ways we serve one another.

We have four weeks to prepare ourselves to celebrate the coming of Christ into our world. In Christ we are enriched with spiritual gifts so that we can be ready for his coming. Preparation takes work. Taking time to pray about celebrating his coming, planning to make Christmas more about his coming than meals and gifts is a good beginning. Prayer, fasting and good works can bring Christmas back to a true celebration of the coming of Christ. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has prepared for those who love his Son. We are the clay and God is the potter that makes us a reflection of the beauty of his Son. How much effort we put into making his coming special in our hearts and our families is what Advent is all about for those who love God. Our preparation for the coming of Christ needs to make us irreproachable in our celebration of his coming.

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