Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
5 Days to Christmas
What do you do with five days to Christmas? I have five suggestions.
First, it is going to get very busy at home and outside the home. There will be the hustle and bustle with last-minute shopping and decorations for Christmas (I belong to that group- I'm yet to get my Christmas tree as I type this message!), so it may be a distraction to getting ready for the Christ in Christmas. So I suggest you intentionally set aside morning and evening before bed-time to gather around your Advent Wreath to pray and meditate. You need that time for recollection amid preparation for the Nativity of our Lord. That identified time for prayer and ejaculatory prayers that may come up as you line up to pay for your items at the store help enforce the needed Advent spirit.
Second, meditate on the Gospel reading for Sunday, December 20-24. These readings are ideal for Christmas reflection; they set the mood for the birth of the Messiah.
Third, if you have not, make sure you send a Christmas card (with gifts if you can) to someone who does not expect it from you. Write words inspired by your reflection on the birth of Christ in the card; it makes it more personal.
Fourth, go to confession if you have any mortal sin on your soul. I will be available for confession on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings from 5-6 pm.
Fifth, make plans to attend one of the Christmas masses offered at the parish. Please pick out a lovely and befitting Christmas dress to wear; I am sure baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph would feel honored. I will be thrilled too! Get prepared for Mass spiritually and physically. Plan to come early. Please watch our own Parish Christmas Mass (even though there are probably many “better” professional options from EWTN to a basilica in Canada) for those viewing from home. Please stay home if anyone is not feeling well. We want to keep everyone as safe as humanly possible. Jesus would understand. I promise through the Holy Spirit's help that it will be an uplifting Christmas mass.
And a bonus addition to the five suggestions above, you may see Christmas Lights as you get closer to Christmas. It can help put you in the true spirit of Christmas. And talking of right Christmas Light, I recommend Stone Gable Estate Christmas Light drive-thru organize by one of our devoted parishioners, Dave Abel. It is an authentic Christmas experience because it highlights Scriptures and traditions that explain the meaning of Christmas.
The five suggestions above are my personal. You may do something else that makes the Five Day to Christmas more meaningful to you. The goal is to prepare for Christmas fully.
Have a more intense Advent preparation this week and Have a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS 2020 despite the dark shadows of Covid-19!
Love you all,
Fr. Bernard, OP