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We Are the Reason for the Season

December 9, AD2016

advent-candle-1, seeking, christmas

As children, many of us enjoyed carefully studying the Highlights pages to find the hidden objects. I remember diligently seeking for each one until all had been found. Our adult lives are like that as well, although our diligence may not mirror that of our childhood.

Seeking the Hidden Objects in Life

The possibilities of finding the hidden are endless. Do we see the poor, hoping for a hand up? Or the lonely, hoping for a smile? How about the misunderstood? Hidden needs and opportunities are only as limited as our ability to see and hear – and feel.

Advent is a time of waiting and preparation. Jesus is coming in the form of a child born of poverty and displacement. He comes to set in motion our very Salvation. As we hustle and bustle around in preparation of gifting, feasting, and fulfillment are we aware of the hidden objects?

As humans, created in the image and likeness of God, have we found our hidden saint? Are we seeking to emulate Him Whose creation we are? Or are we more concerned with our search for that illusive gift or that earthly happiness we all seem to crave?

Seeking for the Reason for the Season

During his homily this past Sunday, our pastor made a surprising statement. He said, “Jesus is not the Reason for the Season – we are.” Jesus’ coming had not so much to do with Him as it did with us and our seeking of the Kingdom. We are on this earth for the sole purpose of seeking the Eternal Promise – the real gift given to us on Christmas, when the Son of Man was born of a virgin. That he later died on the Cross for us and our sins, cemented the deal. Our Eternal life with God rests solely on our persistence in seeking it with our thoughts and actions.

Preparation is Key

Preparation is as important as the destination; without it, we may never find our goal. “We walk over the anniversary of our death each and every year. Let that sink in for a moment. As our pastor shared this tidbit, I must admit that I was taken aback. What a profound statement to make – and yet, so true. As Jesus reminded us in the Gospel of Matthew, “But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.” That statement holds true for both the hour of our death and for the end of time when the Jesus we are seeking comes again.

Are we ready? As we bake, cook, address Christmas cards, and deck the halls, we should keep in mind our eternal preparedness as well. That poor family needs a few groceries. The man who greets us from a wheelchair at the department store could use a bright, sincere smile. The widow a few pews over would love to be remembered by a kind word or thoughtful note. Has our pastor been shown any appreciation lately? We are his family and he selflessly serves us as a representative of Christ Jesus. The possibilities are endless. Our mission as spouse, parent, cousin, and neighbor revolves around sharing the Good News as well. For what we learn, we must share in order to grow the Body of Christ.

Seeking Until We Find

In an ever enduring cycle, Christmas comes and goes every year. What we need to do is find a way to reawaken the wonder that we felt as children. Channeling childlike innocence and reliance on God will help us achieve that goal. If we empty ourselves of selfishness, greed, and distraction we will truly find exactly what and Who it is that we are seeking. In living consciously living Advent in this spirit, we will find the Christmas of our dreams.

“All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” All are called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (CCC 2013)

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Birgit is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the pro-life movement. She has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 40 years. They have four children and nine living grandchildren (all age twelve and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest! Birgit can also be found on her personal blog Designs By Birgit and Facebook fan page Designs By Birgit, where she shares the pro-life memes she creates.

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  • Guy McClung

    Birgit-Somehow we look back on childhood and filter out all the negative and then the positives stand out-and what you have written reminds me that the ultimate “positive” from my childhood is Christmas. Everyone acting somewhat heavenly and realizing we are on our way to glory. Along time ago I worked in a cancer hospital and regularyly throughout the year, on the children’s floor, it was Christmas. For many of those there, it was their last Christmas. Isn’t it revealing that they celebrated no other holiday early? Thanks for the memories. Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      How wonderful that they did this for the children! When I was in Houston, getting the first of my cancer surgeries, a group of carolers in period costumes were walking up and down the hall – it was early December. Despite my fears this experience touched me to the core. They came to my room and took my request, O Holy Night, and at that moment I had such a feeling of comfort and peace.

      What you said about childhood Christmas, yes, we should all try to find our way back to feeling that way each Advent and Christmas as well as throughout the year. That has been one of my Advent goals this year. Blessings.