Advent is a time for preparation

Special to the Herald-Guide
December 09, 2013 at 10:01 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

By “Deacon G” Gautrau

Black Friday has come and gone, so has Cyber Monday. Are we prepared for Christmas?

So what does it mean to be prepared for Christmas? Does it mean getting all of our shopping done early? How about getting the house decorated? What about planning the Christmas meal? Where will we attend Christmas parties? To whom will we give gifts? Who will we invite to Christmas dinner? The list goes on and on. So much to do, so little time.

Though many of these questions are high on our list, have we remembered what we are preparing to celebrate? Will answering any of the questions above actually prepare us for this solemn event?

Let’s consider why we have to prepare for Christmas.

Catholics will spend the next four weeks in a season called Advent, a time of preparation for celebrating the coming of the Christ. He is the reason for the season. We aren’t just preparing to celebrate His birth and First Coming, but we are reminded at this time that Christ will have a Second Coming. We just don’t know when. We are told that:“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be aware of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come (Matthew 24:42-44).”

So how can we prepare for Christmas? Let’s begin by deciding which church service we’ll be attending on Christmas Day to honor Him who gave His life for us and promises us eternal life if we live according to His word.  Then, since Christ will judge us on how we treat the least of our brethren, let’s make a gift to a food bank, a homeless shelter, or do an act of kindness for someone less fortunate than ourselves. Perhaps we could visit someone at an assisted living center or nursing home.

We might even consider helping to deliver toys or food baskets to the needy. Use our imaginations. We just have to think about what blessing we could bring to someone. If we’re unsure about what to do for someone, we can put ourselves in their shoes and ask ourselves if we would appreciate what we’re thinking of doing. We’ll know right away if it’s the correct thing to do.

Preparation begins with taking the time now, for a future event. There are certain events we look forward to throughout the year, perhaps, opening day of hunting season, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Easter, Fourth of July and we begin preparations, weeks or months in advance as to how we’ll enjoy them. There’s no better time than now to begin preparations for Christmas, the celebration of the coming of Christ. Let’s not let it sneak up on us like a thief in the night.

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