By Father Christopher R. Coffiey
With the hectic experience that the Christmas Season brings, many of us do not take the time to really appreciate it. Advent seems to get almost pushed aside. Stores populate with an abundance of sales and decorations. Society tells us to “hurry up.”
Get everything done so that when Christmas arrives, you are well prepared. The problem for us as Catholics is the Christmas season begins on Christmas Eve and extends until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. So how do we properly celebrate? Often, we can feel like society “pops” our balloon of Christmas celebration because the decorations and celebration are all removed and taken down on Dec. 26th. We spend so much time hurrying up, but when Christmas is here, there is little to celebrate.
This is why we must always be in constant battle against secular society and give the Advent and Christmas seasons their proper due reverence. Advent, as a time for longing and waiting for the coming of the Savior of the world, and Christmas, the joyful celebration of His birth. Anticipation brings about joy.
Christmas is a time to be generous and to give. It is a time not to just give presents to others whom we love and admire, but also to give gifts to our Infant King and those who are less fortunate. It is this spirit of giving which makes us remember the poor, needy, and vulnerable. After all, our Infant King was poor, needy, and vulnerable. However, does the giving only focus on giving to those who give to us? What about giving to those who cannot give back?
And, the most important question: What are we giving to Jesus for His birthday? Jesus does not want a new sweater, socks, or a gift card. The most beautiful and appropriate gift is prayer, sacrifice, and financial donation to those in the world who are living in the same conditions as our Lord was born into. By helping others, we are giving to him.
Will you support the Missions around the world? Christmas is not about lights, decorations, and food. It is about experiencing the fragility of our humanity and how God was born into our nature and took on flesh. “Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40)
Happy Advent and Merry Christmas from the Diocese of Wilmington Missions Office.