One of my younger cousins reads my blog, and I asked her over the weekend what she thought my next topic should be. She suggested I reflect on Christmas.
After some quiet time, I realized that I’d never truly grasped Advent. I knew it led up to the birth of Jesus, but I didn’t regard it with nearly as much reverence as Lent. I also never really put myself back in time to imagine what it must’ve been like for Mary, waiting on the birth of her Son, our Savior.
Advent is a time of waiting, I’m learning. It’s a time of joyful anticipation.
I have not always been the best at that, and I’m still not great at it. I’ve tried to fit a square peg into a round hole one too many times – all out of impatience. Be it hastily cleaning dishes only to have to redo them later or being so eager to eat that I undercook the meal!
You should see me at a restaurant. From the time I order until the time the food comes, I can’t wait!
I’ve tried to pack so much into my days (I still do), my life motto is often “rush,rush,rush” (no room for spaces).
So I can imagine that if I knew Jesus were coming in the flesh on December 25th, that I’d have a hard time waiting! The long-awaited Messiah – can you even prepare for that?!
I think it’s something we have to do everyday. There’s not a recipe, but rather it’s aboit growing in holiness bit by bit.
In some ways, our whole life is about waiting – waiting to get to Heaven to enjoy everlasting joy with Our Father.
But the amazing news is we’re never waiting alone! Jesus is here with us now. Even as we wait to meet Him in the next life, He is here with us on Earth every step of the way.
I’m of course looking forward to Christmas with my family. Even as young adults, my brother, my sister and I still treat Christmas morning like we’re 7 years old (minus the waking up early part). My brother and I both stay at my parents’ house for the night and sleep in our old bedrooms.
We still read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with my dad before drifting off to sleep!
I love these traditions. But I’ve sometimes lost sight over the years that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus. We usually do Christmas Eve or Midnight mass, so the actual day of Christmas is often more, to me, about spending time with family.
This year, on the outside, will be the same (though it’s the first time in 4 years I’m not working on Christmas! Yay!). But on the inside, I want to think more about the magnitude of Christmas. People freak out if they get to meet their favorite celebrity. I can only imagine meeting Jesus is infinitely more so awesome!
It’s almost too amazing to wrap my head around. God took on human form to offer salvation! It’s mind-boggling. Sometimes, I still can’t believe He walked the same Earth as I do, and He breathed the same air I breathe.
He is Here
For most of my life, I’ve heard Jesus is “all around us.” But I never felt a personal relationship with him. I didn’t talk to him like a friend. I rarely went to Confession throughout high school and college.
I really thought the people who felt God’s presence everyday were just another “breed” of of people. It was like they were in First Class and I was in Coach. God must’ve liked them more, I determined.
This past year has been life changing for me, for so many reasons (that could be a whole other blog post). The things that helped me most were discovering Adoration, going to Confession regularly, committing to weekly mass, reading Catholic books, and listening to Catholic podcasts with female hosts (I love men but sometimes you just want a lady’s perspective).
What I realized, and still need reminders of, is that Jesus is always and has always been pursuing me. He is chasing me, wanting my attention.
I know he’s there for me 24/7. A call to him never goes to voicemail. I can just talk to Him without filtering myself. He knows all the less-than-holy thoughts I’ve had so why try to hide them?!
Sometimes I just vent, “So and so is being really annoying. I can’t stand them! Please help me to see the wounds this person has so I can be less annoyed with them.” Just talking openly like that to Jesus makes me feel better.
Realizing I can talk to Jesus like He’s my best friend in the whole world has made all the difference!
A Child is Born
After my younger cousin (the one who reads this blog) was born almost 16 years ago, I got to hold her at the hospital. I was sooo excited to have a girl cousin after so many boys! I remember thinking to myself, “I can’t wait until she grows up so I can see her personality and hear her voice.”
Likewise, I’m sure when Jesus was born, Mary couldn’t wait to see her Son grow up. While we celebrate his birth every year, we don’t have to wait for Him.
He is always waiting for us with open arms!
Merry Christmas ♥️