The reality of my failure to plan appropriately for this season is beginning to show. The super cute cardboard houses that I just had to paint and cover with glitter so they could decorate our home are still covering our dining room table in varying stages of incompleteness. It seems like with the shortened daylight, by 6 PM, I am trying to find an excuse to head to bed, and my loving husband has to remind me that going to bed so early will just throw my internal clock farther off. I just seem out of sync. Forget my Christmas crafting, just the tasks of daily living seem to be piling up on me. No matter how I try, it seems I am always behind on dishes or laundry or both. Let’s not even talk about the kitchen counter; I really think that stuff multiplies and creates clutter whenever I turn my back.
For the first part of Advent, our reflections guided us to wake up and be aware that the time is now to prepare for the Second Coming of Our Lord. Starting on the 17th, we turned our focus to the Incarnation. We turn to look to the nativity, to Mary and Joseph’s first encounter with their son, and through them to our own encounter with the Son of God. We prepare ourselves for the graces available as we meet at the altar with all the heavenly hosts, with all our loved ones who have gone before us, where we are witness to the re-presentation of Jesus as he offers his body and blood to his disciples.
The O Antiphons lead us through this last week before Christmas by recalling the names given to the Messiah by the prophets.
O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!
Just like the pink candle on our Advent wreath signals the first light of dawn, just like tomorrow’s winter solstice marks the gradual lengthening of daylight, the cycle of daylight is turning and the days will grow longer once again, and we look to you, Lord Jesus, to free us from the darkness. It isn’t just the darkness of the physical night, but the darkness of all our bad habits, our sin, and from a focus that pays more attention to the created instead of the Creator.
As we travel this last leg of the journey to the nativity, pray for the grace to keep the focus on the one who left heaven to be with us, to the one who returned to heaven but didn’t leave us alone, the one who loves us with love beyond understanding. Remember that when we are in sync with God, sometimes we are out of sync with the rest of the world. When we get in sync with eternity, we are out of sync with the culture around us. Sometimes, being out of sync is a good thing because we can help us to refocus on what is most important and let go of lesser things. The pink of dawn is at the horizon, look to the light.
O Key of David, come and free us, the prisoners of darkness!
May God continue to bless you through these final days of Advent and may His graces cover you as we celebrate together, his entrance into Creation.
Sheryl delights in being the number 1 cheerleader and supporter for her husband, Tom who is a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. They are so grateful for the opportunity to grow together in this process whether it is studying for classes, deepening their prayer life or discovering new ways to serve together. Sheryl’s day job is serving her community as the principal for St. Therese Catholic School in Wayland, Michigan. Since every time she thinks she gets life all figured out, she realizes just how far she has to go, St. Rita of Cascia is her go-to Saint for intercession and help. Home includes Brea, a Bernese Mountain dog and Carlyn, a very, very goofy Golden Retriever.