We celebrate the Birthday of Jesus because He comes to tell us: I Love You. Poor and rich, simple and clever, Jew and Gentile – I love you. On the Cross I love you. At the Mass I love you. He wants to hear us say: I love You too.
You haven’t finished your Christmas shopping – you forgot the Birthday Boy! There is only one thing He really needs: space to be born. Being Welcoming costs us something. Will you make space in your life for Jesus?
John the Baptist might be getting discouraged, and so might we: Where is the Lord? Don’t be discouraged. The Lord who is coming is already here. Pope Francis said: “… in these things we always find Jesus.” Advent is about starting to see that the Lord is here right now, in things as simple as a Grace before Meals. “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say: Rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near.”
Mary was a perfect space for Jesus because she was never cluttered with selfishness. God made her Immaculate because she welcomed Jesus; God wants each of us to welcome Jesus and so become Immaculate like Mary. There’s an old habit of putting one piece of straw in the manger for each kind thing we do before Christmas. What can you do to make a soft place for Jesus?
Nelson Mandela brought Truth and Reconciliation to South Africa. The coming Messiah brings Truth and Reconciliation, and we must repent and be prepared. John the Baptist condemns the Pharisees for creating a crooked yardstick to measure people. We need to put down our crooked yardsticks and let Jesus do the measuring. A good way to do this is a nightly examination of Conscience. Repent today, because the Lord is closer than you think.
Advent is a time to prepare for the Lord’s coming. Isaiah reminds us to put God first. Romans shows us how putting God first affects the way we treat things and people. We start with the first moment of our day, using a prayer called the Morning Offering.
Christ is the true King. If we accept Him into our hearts, He will make our lives truly flourish. But right now He is not seated on a lofty throne in a palace somewhere surrounded by important people. Instead, today we find the true king where the thief found Him: right beside us.
Generous giving means that we put God first, we plan our giving, and we give proportionally. The Devil uses selfishness to keep us trapped. Habits of generosity make us people of generous hearts, and set us free from the Money Trap.