Christmas is days away and if you’re like me you’re thinking, “I’m not ready for Christmas to be here yet! I need to prepare! There is still so much to do!” Of course many of us are also thinking about the last minute shopping, cleaning, and to-do items left on those mile-long lists. How many of us can say we are actually preparing for what is really important?
As Catholics, Christmas is much more than presents, food, and ugly sweaters. It is the celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ! Let’s look into some ways we can prepare ourselves for the greatest joy of the Advent season. Even if you’re last minute, here’s a few easy ways to prepare.
1. Don’t be passive
Fr. Mike Schmitz discusses “Christian waiting” and how we must be receptive to God’s calling. When we listen to God’s word in the Gospel reading in Mass, we must listen to what He is telling us to do. Once we receive His message, we do something with this message, and not just sit around passively waiting for God to do something.
2. Make room for Christ
Don’t allow yourselves to get wrapped up in the chaos and busyness of the secular Christmas season. Slow down and focus on the joy of the coming of Jesus Christ. Fr. Mike invites us to say “NO” this Advent season, and by this he means saying NO to all the extra “stuff” that takes our focus off of Christ. Make room for Christ, and less for the distractions.
3. Pray often
As you slow down, pray for God to lead you into action and invite the Holy Spirit to warm you with His love. That warm, cozy feeling you get isn’t from the open fire in your fireplace. It is the love of the Holy Spirit eagerly awaiting to shower you with grace.
4. Clean your spirit
Just as important as tidying up for your guests this season is cleaning up your soul for Jesus. Go to confession and ask your priest for guidance on preparation for Christ.
5. Be joyful, no matter what
I am not going to pretend that I am the most joyful person on the planet, because anyone close to me knows me better. Being joyful in difficult times is hard to do, but it is the perfect way to share God’s glory during the Advent season. We could all benefit from being a little more optimistic and slower to judge. Be the person who is happy and content, even when it seems fitting to be a curmudgeon.
6. Prepare for the second coming
Now, this may seem odd to hear during Advent but bear with me. We celebrate the coming of Christ to save us all from sin, but let’s not forget that Christ will come again to bring us to eternal life! We have so much to look forward to, am I right!? After all, what follows Advent but another season that reminds us of God’s mercy and love!