My friend says she makes Thanksgiving resolutions, since she doesn't keep the New Year's variety. What she probably doesn't realize, (and what I didn't think of while we were talking), is that a New Year starts this evening - a new liturgical year in the Catholic Church.
This year starts with us waiting in "patient hope and joyful anticipation" for the coming of Jesus - God is with us - Emmanuel. Patient hope and joyful anticipation, my pastor says, like the people camped outside of Best Buy on Thursday evening - waiting for the doors to open on Friday!
Jesus is already with us. We know that. He is with us in His Word, in the sacraments of the Church - especially the Eucharist. He is with us in the people around us, with us in prayer. So it's not as if we are waiting for him to be "more" with us. We already have it all, so to speak.
Perhaps, it is about us being more open to His presence with us. Maybe that is why the purple vestments have reappeared again, after endless days of them during Lent. While the rest of the world is busy seeing how many Christmas trees can be put up and how many presents can be waiting under the tree on Christmas morning, we are called to slow down and reflect, to look within - and see how we might be more open to His presence in our lives.
I think the final question of the homily was, "How bad do you really want to be with Jesus?" And my immediate mental answer was, "more than anything." But I didn't really have to reflect that long to see that my answer and the reality in my life are two different things. I want to be with Jesus....as long as I don't have to take too much time away from the things I want to do to pray. I want to be with Jesus.... as long as He doesn't ask anything too hard. I want to be with Jesus...as long as He fits into my schedule. I want to be with Jesus as long as I don't have to .....
So it seems like it would be a great time to start over with some Thanksgiving/Advent resolutions. The Advent wreath (which Father blessed and lit tonight) works perfectly into the scheme of things. A little more light each week.
Come, Lord Jesus, bring light into my life to illuminate the dark corners. Let me be more open to Your presence in my life.
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