Publisher: dwinger Volume No. 4 Issue No 28 Date Dec. 20, 05
We have been getting ready for Christmas around the Winger household. Presents are being bought and wrapped, the manger scenes are displayed on the cabinet, and the tree is up and decorated. Plans are being made for our excursion to Dallas to celebrate with the Johnston family. There will be more presents, food, children everywhere and of every size. I suspect the house will be filled with laughter and joy with also a mixture of tears and pain thrown in.
Last night I asked a group of kids what they have been doing to prepare for Christmas. The answers included the usual shopping; wrapping, decorating, and baking were just a few. Many of the boys admitted that they had done nothing to get ready for Christmas. I can identify with that rather easily. Many times in my life I have done nothing to get ready for Christmas.
In Church, we are not in the Christmas season. We are in the season before Christmas known as Advent. The word Advent means a “coming to”, and during Advent we are preparing for the celebration of the Lord “coming to” His people. During this Advent period we have not necessarily been focusing only of the coming of the Lord during his birth. The Church has also been reminding us that we need to prepare for the second coming of Jesus. St. Bernard of Clairvaux says that in Advent we celebrate three comings of Christ: the coming of Christ in the flesh in the incarnation, his coming into our hearts in the present, and his coming at the end of time.
My preparations for Christmas are a little different than they used to be. I find myself still buying presents for family and friends, but I also find myself reflecting on the coming of Christ. Have I let Him completely come into my heart? Am I willing to be an instrument of God like the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Am I ready for the second coming of Christ?