“Keeping Christ at Christmas.” I blinked and behold, it was Advent Sunday!!! Where did November go I ask myself? Remembrance whizzed through and before I knew where I was up went the ladder and as one banner came down another went up. On the Monday after Remembrance,
I popped into the Co-op and already I could hear the dulcet tones of Bruce Springsteen wafting over the aisles informing us that “Santa Clause is a coming to town.” Well, a bit early I thought as one of the shop assistants muttered to me, “Only six weeks of that to go.”
The period of Advent is one for spiritual refreshment when we would do well to re-engage with the Gospel narrative and explore its perpetual meaning and significance across the millennia. So, what am I doing this Advent? Well, I decided to reread the Little Way of St Therese of Lisieux. The daily readings and reflections focus our attention that so often God gets about his work and invades the lives of countless millions by his Grace in small and in most cases undramatic ways. We live in an age that seeks constant exposure and affirmation; everyone must know, the great beast of social media has an insatiable appetite that must be fed.
But that was not the experience of Therese. In her life she knew no fame or recognition and yet beyond her own mortal life she has fed the souls of countless Christians who have adopted and tried to live out her “Little Way.”
Within the Christmas story St Joseph assumes a very silent role in having the responsibility of providing for the necessities of life for Mary and Jesus. He is often overlooked but he cared with unswerving compassion for the Holy Family. We would do well this Advent to spend a bit of time reading, thinking and reflecting upon Joseph and his place in salvation history. We might also offer a daily prayer of thanksgiving for all those apparently “ordinary” Christians who have played a significant part in our spiritual lives, both on earth and, as we believe, in heaven.
Wishing you all a very blessed and holy Advent and Christmas.