Today I wasn’t sure if I would make it to church. I’ve been fighting an oncoming cold for two weeks now. Since I’ve been off from work since Wednesday evening, my body has decided to keep me in bed most of the weekend. I didn’t hear the alarm clock to get to my regular morning Mass. I ended up visiting St. Patrick’s on North Avenue in Bridgeport at noon. I am so happy I did. The homily was exactly what I needed to hear. God always seems to put me at the right place at the right time, so I can hear His Word. Do you know what I mean?
It is the beginning of the liturgical calendar. The first day of Advent. The Advent season is to prepare us to celebrate the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Priest who did the homily, explained that this time has become more of an extension of the Christmas Season. We stand in long lines looking for the perfect gifts for our loved ones. We make plans to have parties with our friends, families, and co-workers. We might have a feast on Christmas Eve and bake cookies to leave out for Santa. While these are all great things to have in our lives; There is so much more to the Season than that!
He said we must learn to practice Advent the right way. We should use the month of December to prepare ourselves to receive Jesus Christ into our lives. Like today’s Gospel shows, we should be watchful and alert. We know that we will meet Jesus Christ again, when is the question. The Priest mentioned that some of us might be afraid. The idea of meeting Jesus Christ at judgement might make us anxious and apprehensive. When we hear Be Watchful, Be Alert we hear instead Be Scared, Be Afraid.
Should we be afraid when our time here on Earth comes to an end?
I have to admit when I read the Nicene Creed out loud during Mass, I’m a bit anxious at saying I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. I blame it on the Zombie movies and T.V. shows. The truth is though, that I know for a fact that there are a few things I could be doing to make sure I’m ready, in case my day to die is mañana. He shows us His Kingdom is of love, mercy, charity and generosity for ALL of us. The thing we have to remember is that God didn’t send some random person to tell us how to get into his Kingdom. He came down to tell us himself, through Jesus Christ. He gave His life in a most gruesome way, to SAVE US! This is a Father we do not have to fear, would you agree?
There’s a catch to get into Heaven!
God asks us to do 3 things:
- Stay Close to Him by keeping Him in your heart.
- Turn to Him in times of need and joy.
- Strive to imitate Jesus Christ in your actions and all you aim to do.
It’s a short list. Most of us know that its not as easy as 1, 2, 3. We have many distractions. We have society telling us things should be one way or another, even if it goes against what we know He wants us to do. We can easily get caught up in it. But we can focus on the miracle, of the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas. We can transform that fear into Hope. We can look forward to meeting our Lord face to face, because He loves us more than we could EVER imagine! May we use the next 24 days trying!
I’ll try to work on the list, will you try with me? Do you have any tips?