Well, Advent has begun along with the rush to shop, decorate, attend parties, and so on. A very busy time – so how do we spiritually prepare for Christmas during Advent this year?
This year, together with the Parishioners at Sts. Philip and James Church, I am using the Rejoice series by Fr. Mark Toups to helps us prepare. In previous years, I have found the series to be prayerful and insightful. I hope to share with you some of the insight I gain while participating in this year’s Advent Pilgrimage. This year, we journey with the Sunday Scriptures of Cycle A. “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord” and see what God has in store for us!
One of the insights that delights me is the idea that each Advent will not find us in the same place of our life’s pilgrimage as we were the year prior. We have changed, hopefully grown. The good news is that we begin this year’s pilgrimage from right where we are – TODAY! God loves us and wants to communicate with us right where we are. God is speaking to us all along the pilgrimage; for on a pilgrimage, it is important to realize that the journey is just as important as the destination: Christmas.
With the busy-ness of the season, it is important to establish some guidelines if we hope to make the best of our pilgrimage. To prepare, one needs to put on a Pilgrim’s heart. It is important to set up a routine and rituals for this hectic time. When, where, how, and what will I pray is important to think about before beginning; in this sense, routine helps us to stay focused.
John the Baptist will become our pilgrimage leader. He is pointing down our path, trying to show us something new. Will I stay awake and listen to the voice of God on my pilgrimage? There is so much to be learned! John’s character will be leading the way.
If we want to “Go rejoicing to the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122), let’s take the Pilgrimage seriously, and prepare to delve into what is being shared with us through the weekend scriptures with a joyful heart.
Enjoy the Pilgrimage and stay awake!
Till next week,