We are in the second week of Advent! This time and Lent are two of my most favorite times of the year because of the significance that each event has in both our faith and our life. Advent is a special time of year because it is the anticipation of Jesus being born into our world. Our Advent is only 4 weeks long, can you imagine how long the other advent was? It was many, many years! They were always promised a new covenant, they were promised a savior. People waited for a really long time until one day a savior was born in a manger.

I find it quite funny that many people who don’t believe in Christianity but celebrate advent without even really knowing it. Usually people decorate right after Thanksgiving, which is around the same time that Advent starts, they celebrate with parties, carols and presents to others. Then on Christmas day they have a huge celebration and without even knowing it they have participated in Advent. That is where our duty as Catholics comes in to help remind them of the reason that there is even a Christmas season.

Jesus is the reason for the season and the fact that we have to keep putting up reminders is truly sad. If the world just accepted the truth then we wouldn’t have to put bumper stickers on our cars or wear pins that proclaim the truth – but we have free will. This is precisely why we have to stick up for our faith and for the beauty that Christmas truly holds. Since the fall of man this is why the faith is so important to stand by. Because people do have free will and often times get romanced by the temptations of the world.

advent-candlesThe world was in complete darkness before Jesus came, there was no hope. Then Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, was born in a manger. Not in a castle or in a mansion. He was born in a barn with hay and animals, certainly not a fitting place for a King – especially the King of Heaven, the Savior. But He did it to teach us that He is coming to save us from the world, not coming to live in the world. He was born in dust to show us that this life, that the circumstances of this world should not determine our faith.

During this advent season we have to look into ourselves by looking into Christ. Do we give Him the respect He deserves? Do we live our lives like He teaches us to? This is four weeks of preparation to make sure that we are on the right path. To make sure that our lives line up with that of what Jesus calls us to be.

Don’t get swept up in commercialism and empty Christmas greetings. Celebrate the season with Jesus in everything you do. I don’t mean skip the Christmas parties and don’t sing Christmas carols. Do it! That is what makes this season so special but know the why. When you go to the cookie exchange talk about Jesus, how excited you are about celebrating the truth of  Christmas. Say Merry Christmas to the store clerk. Use these festive, fun times as a way to evangelize and preach about the coming of our Savior and how much that truly has changed everything.

Dear Jesus,

Please give me the courage to defend your name,

Especially during this season that celebrates Your birth.

You were born in a manger,

Let me use this to humble myself.

I pray that others will learn to keep you in Christmas,

To give you the glory that you deserve.