Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Are We Prepared?

Sorry for the latency in posts. In the last two weeks, we've had three birthdays, a holy day, and other crises that needed to be attended to. I promise to the four or so of you who subscribe to this blog that I will get some new writing out here soon. In the meantime, here's another "rerun", originally taken The Catholic Moment for the week of December 23, 2007...

Are We Prepared?

Advent has always been a season of penance and preparing for the coming of Jesus. For a while, it seemed as if we had gotten away from that. Recently, however, the traditional practices of penance have been coming back and we have many good priests who talk about important things, such as prayer and penance, as good practices during the season of Advent.

It’s really not too difficult to lose sight of this important practice in this day and age. We are constantly bombarded by TV, newspaper and Internet ads screaming “Buy! Buy! Buy!” normally starting sometime around Halloween, and the only preparing that many of us wind up doing is buying an Xbox for the son, an iPod for the daughter, and a high-definition TV for the living room. Not that I have a problem per se with those items, but during Advent, our thoughts and actions are best taken elsewhere.

How often do we actually contemplate what Christmas is all about? I mean, we always hear someone say “Jesus is the reason for the season,” but amidst all the gifts, parties and Christmas food, how much do we really appreciate the fact that Christmas, the Nativity of Our Lord on the liturgical calendar, is when we celebrate the day that salvation came to the world? And are we fully prepared for it?

Confession during Advent is just as important as confession during Lent. It makes sense to me that if one goes to confession before receiving Jesus in the Eucharist at Sunday Mass, then likewise one would go to confession before receiving Jesus into the world at Christmas.

As Advent draws to a close, we need to keep in mind that while we are preparing to celebrate Jesus’ first coming, we need to be ready for Jesus’ second coming as well. If you’ve not been to confession in a while, now may be the time to do so. After all, the greatest gift that any one of us could ever hope to receive is salvation.

The sacrament of confession is a wonderful gift that’s freely offered all year around. It puts us back in harmony and friendship with God. It’s best that we’re prepared to receive the gift of salvation by preparing with the gift of confession.

Believe me, there’s no better gift you’re going to receive all year than that!

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