On December 15th we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, with only 10 more days till Christmas! Stay focused. Let’s not lose sight of what the celebration is all about: the Messiah, God Incarnate has come to save us. It’s so easy to get caught up in our “Christmas preparations” that we forget our main objective, to rejoice and worship.
Typical Christmas preparations include sending Christmas cards, many to people we contact at no other time of year. We put up our Christmas trees and lights. We buy Christmas presents for family and friends, visit our relatives, plan and prepare Christmas dinner. Sometimes Christmas Mass becomes an afterthought.
Maybe we can combine our Christmas preparations with our stewardship commitments. Treasure is an easy one. Shouldn’t the most expensive Christmas present we give be to Jesus whose birthday we’re celebrating? Although the risen Jesus needs nothing that we have, his body the Church continues Jesus’ mission on earth, and is always in need of additional resources.
Time and Talent may take a little more thought, but there are many opportunities here, too. We can stop by Church more often to spend some time in prayer and worship. There is an Advent Penance service on December 23rd, the Rosary Group meets on Wednesday evenings at 6:15pm in the Daily Mass Chapel, there is daily Mass at 7:30am and 5:45pm, and of course, the Perpetual Adoration Chapel is open 24/7 .
There are many possibilities to share our talent, too. Bring goods to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, volunteer for SVDP Helpline, or donate $. Sign up for a liturgical ministry for a Christmas Mass. Help decorate the Church. Buy Christmas gifts for a family in need. Cook or bake for someone who is ill or shut-in.
These Advent weeks seem to fly by as we prepare for Christmas. But with a little planning, we can make this hectic time a holy and blessed time for ourselves and others.
Tony Cooper-Stewardship and Development