I don't just mean the "get the presents all wrapped/sing Christmas carols/watch Christmas movies" ready. (Though I must say, I am the worst at presents, but I successfully finished and wrapped my husband's presents on Friday!) I mean ready for Christ's coming. As in, repenting; trying to clean up your life and soul for the Christ Child to enter at Christmas. How many of us meticulously clean our houses/apartments, but fail to clean ourselves within? I think it's really easy, with Christmas coming, to get swept up in the joyful chaos of heartwarming celebration and all the happy fuzzies that come along the way. It's good to joyfully prepare for Christ's coming with cookie-baking parties and such--but are we remembering to turn our lives around?
Yesterday was the Fourth Sunday of Advent. And, in the Extraordinary Form, the Gospel Reading helps to bring home the fact that we need to undergo a conversion as we prepare for Christmas:
"...the word of God came to John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaias [sic] the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the desert, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, make straight His paths'..." (Fourth Sunday of Advent, 1957 Sunday Missal)
|O Jesse Tree, O Jesse Tree,|
how lovely are your branches! :)
|Umm...yeah. a LONG way to go!|
"Two days before Christmas, these words were read in the refectory: 'Tomorrow is the Birth of Jesus Christ according to the flesh.' At these words, my soul was pierced by the light and love of God, and I gained deeper knowledge of the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. How great is the mercy of God contained in the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God!"
(Diary of St. Faustina-Notebook V #1433)