Advent 2014

First Monday of Advent - December 1st

Is 2: 1-5 / Ps 122: 1-9 / Mt 8: 5-11

The major theme in today's readings is this that we should all rejoice because the Lord has established his kingdom on the highest mountain, and has invited all of His faithful to join him. In the context of the Advent season, the Lord has invited us to His house to celebrate the birth of His Son with Him. This can be an overwhelming invitation. Personally, I think to myself, Really? God wants me to celebrate His Son's birthday... AT HIS HOUSE?! Well, I don’t want to embarrass myself, so I must prepare for this party in God's home. I'll need to buy an amazing gift and wear the nicest suit I own. Maybe, I'll bring a bottle of wine to show how appreciative I am of His invitation.

But that's not the point of Christmas or the point of Advent.

On a secular level, Advent is a time when we handle our Christmas shopping and plan our family parties. However, Advent is a time when we should be spiritually preparing for the birth of Christ. Now is a time when we can reflect on our relationships with Jesus Christ.

I really empathized with the Centurion who says, "Lord, I am not worthy that you have entered under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed." I feel unworthy to be invited to Jesus' birthday celebration. To compensate, I feel the need to be overly extravagant with amazing gifts and nice suits, but that's not what Jesus wants. Jesus wants us to have faith in Him, and to have a relationship with Him. Let us use Advent as a time to strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us also use this time to strengthen our relationships with our loved ones. Even though we all appreciate amazing gifts and nice suits, the time we spend with one another, and with Christ, is much more valuable than any bottle of wine we could bring to a party.

 Mark Mullany
 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015