By Anni Harry
It’s the Final Countdown!
Are you excited…?
Are you ready…?
Or, do you have a little left to do to clean house and prepare…?
One might understandably think that I’m referring to Christmas shopping, what with only fourteen days left until Christmas Day. There is certainly always plenty to finish up, and to be fair, we never feel completely finished, do we? There are meals to plan, gifts to order and wrap, and tables or homes to decorate. It’s a frantic time for everyone.
Yet, I’m not asking whether or not you are excited, or ready for Christmas Day in the worldly sense.
Rather, I’m wondering – are you excited to celebrate Christ’s birthday?
We have already celebrated the first two Sundays of Advent, and this weekend throughout the world, Christians will light that beautiful, rose-colored candle which represents “Joy” in the coming of Christ. It reminds us of the Joy that Mary experienced centuries ago, the Joy that the Wise Men felt when they knelt before our Lord, and the Joy that Christ brought Anna and Simeon in the Temple when they were finally rewarded for years of fidelity to God.
The rose-colored candle also challenges us to seek the Joy that can be found only in Christ, even in the midst of pain and suffering, centuries after His Death, Resurrection, and Ascension into Heaven.
As Christians, we profess the belief that Christ is to come again, and as Catholics, we eagerly await His second coming by frequenting Mass every week (and other Holy Days of Obligation) and Confession (when under pain of mortal sin, or at least once a year during the Easter Season).
Are we truly ready for Christ?
Advent is a perfect time to not only reflect on the Joy that comes with Christ, and how it manifests in our lives today, but to also take a moment to truly consider whether our hearts are ready for the coming Lord.
When was the last time we completed an Examination of Conscience? Answering that may make us squirm a little bit. When was the last time we met Christ in the Confessional? That answer may make us a little more uneasy.
Yet, the season of Advent is the most beautiful time of the year to truly recognize that Christ is waiting for you, He’s waiting for me, He’s waiting for each of us with His loving and merciful arms outstretched in the Confessional!
So many Catholic churches hold Advent Penance Services because we as a Christian people are joyously anticipating not just the one-day Christmas Day, but ultimately our Lord’s second coming!
As we head to Mass this weekend, I encourage all of us to ask ourselves the questions again – are we excited…?
Are we ready…?
Or, do we have a little left to do to clean house and prepare…?
May the blessings of the Advent season turn into the most joyous Christmas season for you and yours!
About the author:
Anni is a proud Army wife, and mom. She currently works as the Catholic Religious Education Coordinator at her family’s military chapel. She can be found on social media at A Beautiful, Camouflaged Mess of A Life on FB, @beautifulcamouflagedmess on IG, and @BeautifulCamoMe on Twitter. She also writes for her own blog, in addition to other Catholic women outlets.