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Rev. Mark Connolly

It is easy to criticize all the material preparation on behalf of Christmas. There is nothing to be gained by decrying it and lashing out against it. No matter what happens, no matter how commercial Advent and Christmas become, we are still in control of our own lives. It can be made sacred and spiritual if we make the preparations for Christmas a true celebration of Advent - a time of reflection on the beautiful mystery of the birth of Christ.

Advent is a time of meditating on our relationship with Christ. Advent is a time of spiritually attuning ourselves to what this event should mean in our lives. In the first Advent people were made aware that a great event was to take place. There was anticipation and preparation. However, others ignored it.

Advent should find us preparing for the entrance of Christ into our lives and homes. Advent is a time to remind us of the sacredness of the birth of Christ. It is more than a festive day. It is more than a holiday. It should be a holy day in our lives and to make it holy we have to start now. If we do, Christmas will be a happier and a holier one.

Grant, Almighty God,

that looking forward in faith

to the feast of our Lord's birth,

we may feel all the happiness our Savior brings,

and celebrate his coming with unfailing joy.

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