During the Advent season, there are many people, events, causes, and activities that demand our attention. Amidst the many distractions, we mostly spend our time and money this season in a worthwhile way. We tolerate the long lines, big crowds, and an abundance of junk email in an effort to find something special that demonstrates our affection and love to those closest to us. Many of us also seek out ways to brighten and warm the hearts of the poor, hungry and lonely as the days grow darker and colder by donating our time and resources to bring souls in need joy.
Although our schedules become increasingly hectic, we are in some ways living with more purpose and direction as we prepare to welcome friends and family into our homes and show our love. Throughout this time of preparation, we grow both in joy and grace as we anticipate the coming celebrations and gatherings. While it is very important to enjoy these special moments with family, friends and serve the poor, they should not be placed at the pinnacle of our season. We must not leave the manger unattended and adore Christ.
The King of Kings and Lord of Lords arrives in our world as a helpless infant, needing our care and attention. Our King of the Universe doesn’t make a grand entrance but rather selects a feeding trough made for animals as his first throne. His arrival is beyond humble and unmatched by any previous ruler, so much so that earthly kings and rulers travel a great distance to pay him homage. They don’t send an emissary or mail a gift card. They leave the comfort of their kingdom and worldly riches behind and travel personally to prostrate themselves before Jesus. The Magi realize that the sacrifice Christ made to take on human flesh is greater than any sacrifice they can offer and He alone is worthy of their praise and worship. They look to the heavens, follow a star and risk everything to adore Jesus.
Like the wise men, we too must follow the stirring in our hearts to adore Jesus this season. We are called to leave our busy kingdoms and enter the stable turned sanctuary to worship and praise our God who has chosen to dwell with us. This decision of Christ to become Emmanuel, God with us, is an everlasting decision. He promises, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (John 14:18)” and through the Sacraments, most especially the Eucharist is with us always. We therefore must make time to visit our king as we prepare for both this Christmas and His second coming. We will increase our joy and find the strength to love our neighbor more fully if we set time aside to worship Christ.
Approach Bethlehem by spending some time in Eucharistic Adoration, celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation, and participate fully in the Mass; for by living a sacramental lifestyle we come to a deeper knowledge and realization that this helpless baby born humbly in a stable is King of Kings. O Come let us adore Him…