As Catechists and individuals in ministry how do we make Advent for ourselves and our students more than a merely happy and festive time?  Often it is a time where many await and countdown to Christmas not primarily because of the spiritual meaning of the season but more for the joys of exchanging gifts and getting together with family and friends.  Even the secular culture promotes this time of year as a joy filled and special few weeks.   Although this is all well and even good it often seems to miss the heart of this time of year.  How do we help others prepare well in Advent for the Solemnity of Christmas?

Fr. Ronald Knox in a sermon on Advent said:

“This attitude of expectation is one which the Church wants to encourage in us, her children, permanently.  She sees it as an essential part of our Christian drill that we should still be looking forward; getting on for two thousand years, now, since the first Christmas Day came and went, and we must still be looking forward.”

4 Ways to Look Forward

1. Promote and teach a spirit of preparation.  Jesus said: “Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” (Lk. 24:42)

2. Teach students not only that we remember and celebrate Jesus’ Birthday and how He came to earth to save us but also share that He will come again and we need to be ready.

3. Pray for all those who will die this month and will be meeting Jesus.  Pray that they are spiritually ready.

4. The liturgical color is purple which communicates to the faithful a spirit of sacrifice.  Encourage a spirit of penance and sacrifice during Advent.