1st Sunday of Advent
When it comes to the holidays we love our traditions. Thanksgiving is chalked full from start to finish from the Macy’s Day parade to the turkey and dressing, watching football, or just spending time being with relatives and friends. It’s all special even down to the all important afternoon nap. Research shows that contrary to popular belief turkey itself has no agent within it to make you tired. Generally the reason why people get sleepy after their thanksgiving meal is because they ate so much—the body’s only defense mechanism is to go into a catatonic state to recover from the onslaught of intake. Whether this was you or not we can all recognize that for the body there is something very nourishing about a good meal, and very satisfying about a good sleep for the body—Thanksgiving just has that comforting kind of effect.
Then there’s Advent. If Thanksgiving represents the good things of creation—family getting together, food being shared, a great day 2
where we enjoy the best things of this world—then Advent represents all that is good that is literally out of this world. You might have said as you bit into grandma’s homemade pie, “That you’ve just died and gone to heaven” but the reality is heaven comes down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, and He comes not to establish 365 turkey days— making our world an endless holiday, but He comes to awaken us from the slumber of satisfying ourselves with the scraps from the table of this world and prepare our hearts, our lives for the feast of His love for us. The question is do we even acknowledge the fact that we have a spiritual hunger or are we to busy seeking to please our appetites for the things of this world? Do we seriously love food more than we love Jesus?
Our Lord longs for us to day dream about Him like we do our lunch break and what we are going eat at work, He aches for us to prepare our hearts for receiving Him like we prepare and plan for a big meal where we host many guests. Our relationship with Christ changes 3
when we stop treating Him like a holiday guest and when we finally just act like he’s part of the family.
The Mass, the high point of our celebration in the Church is itself a meal for many reasons, but one basic one is that we as a people love to eat, and Jesus provides for us Himself in the most enjoyable of human things: food. From food to faith we live a life connected to Christ when we pray more than we eat, if we have 3 meals a day don’t you think we should pray at least that many times to nourish our souls as much as we nourish our bodies? Just as no one likes cold mashed potatoes neither should our soul be cold to an awareness of Christ’s presence throughout our daily life.
Advent means coming, and in order for us to make this season count we can’t be caught hitting the snooze button, but we have to be awake to the reality of what God is doing right now. This means we have to take the warm blankets of our comfort zone off and make the next 4 weeks about one thing: preparing the way of the Lord. I invite us 4
all to make this season, this Advent the time when we began to hunger for holiness to grow in our relationship with God and in our pursuit of His love, discovering the true rest that both nourishes and satisfies the very depths not just of our body but of our soul. It begins here, it begins now, come and enter the feast of faith.