Today is the first Sunday in Advent.
During this season there is a question we ask, often just to make conversation. It is, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Usually what we mean when we ask this is, “Have you finished shopping?” Or, “What are your holiday plans?”
Our talk is full of the preparations that are going on in our lives. We wouldn’t neglect putting everything in place for the traditional family Christmas we all enjoy, even though at times it seems stressful when we think of all the things we must accomplish by December 25.
Advent is the time in the Christian year meant for preparation, but this preparing has nothing to do with buying presents or baking pies. This is the time for us to ready our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child. So often this is seen as something we need to do in addition to all the other activities that are going on. The result is that we may feel pressure at one more thing we need to do to get ready for Christmas.
Could it be that if we keep our hearts and minds in a state of constant preparedness that the love, joy, wonder and splendor of the Christ Child might come to us at any time, not just at Christmas?
Oh Holy Child of Bethlehem, be born in us today.