December 2, 2018 – A View from the Rectory Window

O come, O Come Emmanuel

When we begin the season of Advent, I always ask our CCD students, “what does Advent mean?” They know to respond with the words, “to come.” When asked to further explain who is coming, they respond with “Jesus.”

As we begin another season of Advent, how do we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus when we celebrate his birth? A clue to this is what St. Francis did 800 years ago when he created the first live crèche. He wanted to have people experience the moment Jesus was born, which meant he wanted each person to smell, feel, hear, taste and see the hardship and struggle the Holy Family endured during the birth of the Son of God. He wanted us to embrace reality that Jesus was born in a manger that was used to feed the animals of an innkeeper. Jesus came into the world no different than many poor families living on the streets with no shelter, food or support; families living in fear of deportation due to government policies or, families losing their homes to hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires.
Advent is a time to find Jesus, the source of all creation through the poor, the outcast, the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan. This is why it is so important that we connect by personally volunteering at a charity, visiting the elderly, making a call to someone we have been separated from, or helping those serving the poor and marginalized. It is from this encounter that we can begin to know the depth of God’s love when he became one of us.

During the Advent season, we can encounter the scents, sights and sounds of those less fortunate where Jesus surely dwells, as we prepare our hearts to receive Him this holy season. So let us begin Advent today and always, by going to meet the Christ Child in the hearts of others.

Fr. Pete