It was when the parrot (affectionately known as chicken) decided to eat Joseph – the wise men didn’t taste so good – that we finally put the nativity scene back in its box. And that was it… Christmas in our house finished for another year.
So here we are… back to ‘Ordinary Time’. The Christmas season is over. Everyone is back from holidays. Back to the hard grind of school for the kids and work for everyone else.
Ordinary time… not just in the liturgical year but our lives as well.
But is it the same?
Are we the same?
In 1974, reflecting on the meaning of Advent and Christmas, Bishop Karol Wojtyla soon to become Pope John Paul II said “Christianity is the religion of the coming of God, of his breaking through into human history… we live Advent not only in the perspective of the liturgical year, but also in the perspective of the entire existence of the individual, each nation and all humanity.”
Advent and Christmas aren’t just a way to finish off the year and an excuse to remember baby Jesus.
Advent is a time when we should be renewed; reminded that we are an Advent people and challenged to bring forth the joy of Christ born on Christmas day into the coming year. Has Advent changed us? Has it reminded us and inspired us to take up the challenge of being Advent people? Or will we go back to ordinariness?
John Paul’s words also challenge us to go beyond the personal experience of Christmas.
We are called to be Advent people; not just Advent persons. The challenge is a communal one. It’s not just a challenge for Derek or a challenge for Karen. He is issuing a challenge to Derek and Karen. How are we together bringing the hope of Advent and Christmas into our ordinary time?
As domestic Church, the most basic unit of Church, John Paul is challenging us to be Advent people.
So, in 2009 we have resolutions:
• Pray more as a family, especially at the beginning of the day. It was a lovely tradition that Derek had growing up in his family.
• Make time as a family to talk about the Sunday readings. Helping our children to better understand what they mean and the significance for our lives.
What are your resolutions? How will your domestic Church be an Advent people?
• Maybe you could find more opportunities to pray as a family.
• Find ways to give scripture a more meaningful place in your daily/weekly life.
• Explore ways that the family could become more involved in the parish community.
• As a family find acts of service that you can offer those in need.
Advent and Christmas remind us that we are called to prepare for Christ’s coming into our hearts and homes… everyday.