O God, who through the child-bearing of the holy Virgin
graciously revealed the radiance of your glory to the world,
grant, we pray, that we may venerate with integrity of faith
the mystery of so wondrous an Incarnation
and always celebrate it with due reverence.
Opening Prayer (Collect)
Advent Weekday Liturgy
On Saturday morning December 17 I went to the Community Blood Center to donate. I was in very high spirits. I had spent the evening before gathered with more than 20 young adult Lay Marianists. We went Christmas caroling, shared a meal and played very fun, goofy games. Saturday morning I went for a run with new, fun people (and one good friend) and then listened to Christmas music all morning. When I walked in the Blood Center I was still singing my favorite Christmas song (O, Holy Night) in my mind.
The woman behind the desk asks "So, are you ready for Christmas?" in a sort of "I'm only talking to you because I'm supposed to" sort of way. I replied to her with an enthusiastic "Yes!" She looked a little confused. "You've finished your shopping and wrapping and decorating?" It was my turn to be caught off guard. Those things couldn't have been farther from my mind! I've done none of those things. And I'm not overly concerned about it either. I said to her, "No. It's not that important. I'm ready for spending time with people I love, good food, the prayers... I'm excited." Again... I don't think she knew what to think.
Here we are... the "O Anitphon" time... the 4th week of Advent. Through our liturgy we are called to reflect on the announcements of great births, the way God brings about light and life in impossible situations... and the models of faith who said "Yes," having no idea the implications of such a yes. This is truly a graced time...
It's been a busy Advent for me - as it typically is for anyone connected with education (as student, teacher, or administrator). A UD student I know calls this time of year "anti-Advent" in schools. So true. And yet, in the midst of the busyness, my soul in stillness contemplates the great mystery of the incarnation... and the ways Christ is present in each day.
May this closing week of Advent be one of grace and peace for you. And when someone asks, "Are you ready for Christmas?" I hope the answer is "Yes" in the spirit of Mary whose yes had nothing to do with buying gifts.
Many blessings to all who read this,