On Black Friday, all of us watched the enormous crowds rushing through the malls and stores as people frantically started buying gifts preparing for Christmas.  Here is how we should be preparing for the real gift of Christmas.

The Church gives us these four weeks before Christmas as a time of preparation to get ready to welcome the greatest gift of all . . . God’s only son.  He will be born as a baby in a lowly stable and will save us all.

Authors, C. Peters and K. Manning, remind us that “A young woman answered the call with a mighty faith that forever changed the world.  Mary said yes to the unknown future and known suffering that would come with becoming the mother of our Savior King.  As a baby formed inside of her, the rest of the world prepared for love incarnate to walk the earth.”

Advent is a time of waiting in “penitential preparation” and joyful anticipation of his coming.  So take a deep breath, slow down and experience the true beauty of the season as the four Advent candles of peace, joy, love,and hope are lit each week at mass.

This holiday season we know there are many problems in the world but we know the source of peace: Christ.  Please consider inviting people you know back to mass.  Reaching out can make a blessed difference in someone’s life.  Also, recommend that they go to confession.  Pope Francis says “Jesus donates to us the peace that only He gives”.

This Advent, like Mary, let our Faith ring out as we step boldly into loving others more than ourselves.  May it be a period of devout and expectant delight!

~Jeanne Leonardi


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