With the arrival of the First Sunday of Advent we begin our journey through this special season of preparation before Christmas and the first Sunday of the church’s liturgical New Year. At mass today, we light the first purple candle on our Advent wreath to symbolise that our journey has begun in earnest.
For many weeks already, the commercial world has been bombarding us with advertisements on television, radio and in print media trying to convince us that we need to buy their products in order to be prepared for their idea of the true celebration of Christmas.
But rather than get caught up on the commercial world’s notion of what’s needed for us to have a ‘Happy Christmas’ we need to focus on what Advent actually means to us as Christians and then use these days to take stock and reflect on our lives and maybe the direction we are going. Perhaps to ask the question ‘what do I really need to have a happy Christmas’? Is it the number of gifts I will give or receive or is it more importantly about family coming together to celebrate the Holy feast of the Nativity of The Lord?
Advent challenges us to waken up and shake off the routineness of our usual daily living and let Christ come alive in our lives once more.