Christmas is often a confusing time for me. We give each other gifts, we have family gatherings, we are happy, and we celebrate our faith. That’s all good, but sometimes I don’t understand what we are really celebrating.
In the first reading we hear about how the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit allow for a peaceful society where predator and prey live side-by-side without conflict and where the needs of the poor are addressed while the Psalm echoes a similar theme. More confusion comes to me when I hear these messages and think about all the ongoing conflicts, poverty, and injustice in the world and how I can’t see how our world can ever be like the ones described in the readings. Why are we celebrating? Jesus was born a very long time ago, but we still have all of these problems.
It’s in the Gospel reading where I begin to understand it a little better. In the reading, Jesus is speaking with his disciples after they returned from their missions and they tell him about all the things they accomplished. As part of his response, Jesus says “Father… you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” This makes me think of the approach that the disciples had. It must have been childlike, because any wise or learned person would have known that all the problems in our world can’t be solved by a few people, but they went anyway. And, Jesus’ response shows how the accomplishments they had, although maybe small, are something to be celebrated.
I think today’s readings serve to remind us that our Christmas celebrations are not just about our faith, but also what we have accomplished with it no matter how small.
College of Engineering, Class of 2017
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent