We experience Christmas when we experience Advent
We are given entire weeks to prepare our hearts for the special graces of Christmas. During this time the Church prays incessantly for the coming of Jesus. Advent is then a special period to focus our hearts for His coming down to earth: “Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above” (Is 45:8). The Church focuses on the hunger for Jesus and for His coming. We can even say that the process of growing in faith depends on our hunger for God. The hunger, the desire of Jesus, the desire for His coming to us, to our family, to our parish, to our broken world, is the key to a great banquet of Christmas. Advent is then the period of awareness that, although Jesus is present amongst us, there are areas in us where there is a lack of Jesus. The lack of His presence brings a strong hope that His rebirth will come within our hearts at Christmas. He comes to match the extent of our preparation and our openness. We can say, to match the extent of our faith. “If there is no Advent, then… Christmas is only a beautiful but empty celebration. The danger of Christmas is then that it can become an artificial celebration”, full of shopping, rushing, carols and even a boring meal, only because there is not much meaning, no preparation. If you do not experience the message of Advent, then do not be surprised that Christmas seems to be always the same.
Advent is then a period when I allow myself to see all areas where the Lord is outside of me, knocking on the door of my heart, asking for my attention. Let us, my lack of Jesus and Jesus’ lack of me bring the deeper desire of Communion with Him – Holy Communion with Him – Most Holy Communion with Him. He waits for me to receive Holy Communion. He wants to give Himself to you fully and His heart there beats for you.