When I think of Advent, 3 things come to mind: the Advent Wreath finding its way out of the attic and onto my kitchen table, singing “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel” each night as we lit the candles before dinner, and fighting with my brother over who got to read that night’s page from “30 Days with Mary and Joseph” by Jo Glen.
For most of my life Advent was a routine. I went through the motions of reading the reflections each night, lighting the candles, and waiting for Christ to arrive on Christmas. Maggie has shared with me multiple times that Advent is her favorite Liturgical Season, and I want to know why. That’s why this year, I am determined to exchange my Advent routine for an ADVENTure. Martha coined this term in her Soup and Psalms reflection for the first week of Advent, and it has stuck with me ever since. Being that “Advent” is two thirds of the word “adventure” it only makes sense to trade in my passive waiting and buckle up for the ride.
We live in a world where today’s youth are past patiently waiting for adults to take action, so they are taking matters into their own hands. Just look at Greta Thunberg with her climate strikes, and the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that organized the March for Our Lives, and even the NeXt Level youth that I’m working with from parishes across New Jersey who are doing the same kinds of things. Christ is truly alive in the hearts of all of these individuals, and whether they know it or not, they are listening to the call of Christ in their hearts.
With these youth as a model, I find myself asking what is Christ speaking in my heart this Advent? Well I don’t know for sure, but recently I have had numerous conversations with various people about “meeting people where they are.” That is, the idea that everyone is going through something, and if we just take some time and put ourselves into someone else’s shoes for a while we might see things differently. Now what this means for me and my ADVENTure, I’m still not sure. However, as I am thinking about my next steps and applying to grad school I know that this has something to do with why I want to get my MSW. I’m still not sure what comes after I get my degree but thats and ADVENTure for another time.
Christmas is a celebration of Christ coming into the world yes, but dare I say more importantly a time for us to recognize Christ being born in each of us. While Advent is a time of waiting, it is also a time of preparation. Preparing for Christ’s birth, and figuring out what the heck you’re going to do once he gets here. So I leave you with just that. What are you going to do to deepen your relationship with the Christ being born inside of you?