Joy and Hope

I am so thankful for Advent and Christmas.  Throughout the year, there are times when hours, days, and possibly weeks can go by without much thought about the joy and hope that Jesus’ coming offers.  However, during Advent, we are given weekly reminders when we light the Advent Wreath and/or hear the weekly readings at mass. For some of us, we may even do a daily Advent activity.  These are reminders that the light is increasing.  We are getting closer to Jesus’ return, either in this lifetime or in the next. Then, once Christmas arrives, oh! What joy!  We sing His praises, we rejoice in His coming, and we can truly feel His love.

The downside of this time of year, though, is the commercialism and materialism that takes place.  For me, I know there is no greater time of the year where I am torn between buying things for others out of love or just out of habit.  Plus, the season pushes me as a mother to set a good example for my children and to teach them over and over again the meaning of Advent and Christmas versus the view that they are bombarded with on TV and all around.

This can be a blessing, though.  It motivates me to step off “society’s train” and proclaim my beliefs and my values so that they are hopefully passed down through generations and spread throughout the world.  The trick is to accept the responsibility to do this.  To be the voice of God for our children and all those we meet.  To be the voice “crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'” To help them to learn the necessity to repent and prepare for His coming, and to spread to them the joy and hope that Jesus Christ brings. WHAT BETTER GIFT COULD WE GIVE?

I hope everyone enjoyed the first week of the Advent Study.  We are now beginning the second week which continues on the theme of preparing for Christ’s coming.  We will read about God’s mercy and His open arms to accept us back when we repent.  He does not want us to suffer.  He wants us to work towards preparing for His arrival, so that we will be at peace with Him at the end of times.

Thank you to Bob for his wonderful comments last week!  I hope and pray that more of you will feel the Spirit within you to share your thoughts as well.  However, if you are not the “sharing” type, don’t fret.  Knowing that you are participating by reading and studying along with us is just as important.

God bless you all!

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