“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” Matthew 7: 24
We have just embarked on a wonderful time of the year. Let’s be sure to celebrate it to the full. That means living the first part: Advent! If we observe Advent first, then, when we come to Christmas, our joy will be deep and real.
But, honestly, that can seem hard to do as there is a lot of pressure to get sucked into the commercial world where Christmas seems already to have started, even before black Friday… or simply we can feel there is so much to do to get ready for Christmas and so many people to see… Advent, on the other hand is what we really want and need. Advent means coming: letting Christ come to us, to our homes and our hearts, the way He wants to do! Christ comes to US! He will be the great gift of Christmas who gives Himself away in love and teaches us to do the same!
We begin Advent, this week and next, remembering especially His Second Coming, when Christ will come again in power and glory: our great hope that all life and history find meaning and fulfillment in Him. Then in the second half of Advent we turn to prepare to receive Him in His First Coming: as babe born in a stable in Bethlehem in our flesh and weakness.
In light of these two comings of Christ, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote beautifully of what he calls Christ’s third coming, as we open our hearts and our homes in love to Him Who is the Word among us each moment, each day! St. Bernard says, “Let Him enter into your very being, let Him take possession of your desires and your whole way of life. Feed on goodness. Fill your soul with richness and strength.”
This is building your house on the rock, who is Christ! Isn’t this what we really need? I heard recently that coming out of Covid, so many are experience a renewed spiritual longing. Further, now the complexity of the international scene makes us to long for peace!
Finding it is not magic or some esoteric secret. What we need to do is simply to make room for Christ now. Instead of getting caught up in frenetic pace that many live at Christmas, let’s live intentionally! Let’s live Advent, particularly in our family, in our Church community! It’s not too late to get your Advent wreath going. Read the Gospel of the Day and pray the Rosary or some part of it each day.
Open your heart and your home to the peace that the world needs NOW!
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About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!