Christmas is a major feast day, yet it is based upon small passages in two Gospels.
We know what kind of person the infant Jesus born on the first Christmas would be in adult life: someone known for drawing near to others and walking with them in their actual lives.
What do you think the John the Baptist of real time 2,000 years ago looked like and sounded like? I’m talking about the fascinating desert preacher who makes a fresh appearance in Christian communities during the Advent season leading to Christmas.
As we journey through Advent each year we encounter a threefold sense of Christ’s coming: in history, in mystery and in majesty.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” That iconic line from the 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” seems pretty off-base just a little more than a week away from Christmas, doesn’t it? Stop and look around? There’s no time for that.
Be watchful!” and “Be alert!” are two traditional spiritual commands often heard by Catholics during the Advent season in preparation for the birth of Christ at Christmas.
Growing up in East Los Angeles, graffiti was always a big issue. Gang members would define their territories by scrawling their names or that of their gang on the sides of buildings. Some families in the neighborhood had a bucket of paint on hand to cover graffiti on their wall or fence.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen of Mexico, Empress of the Americas.” This grand title, found on traditional banners celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe, highlights her widespread impact throughout this continent.
Advent is a season of expectation, of waiting for promises to be fulfilled — God’s promises, to our Israelite ancestors in the faith and to us. Isaiah promises the birth of a child named Emmanuel, “God with us.”
Advent, the four-week period preceding Christmas, is a time to slow down as we wait in hopeful expectation for Christ’s coming. It’s a time to take stock of what’s important in our lives, casting away extra commitments and wasted energy we’ve added throughout the year.