Passing from Advent into Christmas Season - Practical Suggestions
Advent lasts from the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas.
The Christmas season continues through the week after Epiphany. Celebrate until then. Don’t take down your Christmas tree until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Give Christmas its due.
“Ordinary Time” begins with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is the Sunday after Epiphany.
The spirit of Advent is waiting and longing.
The spirit of Christmas is seeing and rejoicing.
This is a time to open your eyes and see:
• Seek the experience of Jesus. Go where you will encounter him: “The shepherds “went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.“
• See and acknowledge in your heart the ways you have experienced him, what Jesus means to you: “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen…. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.”
• See how he is visible in people who have come alive by his grace. Recognize his presence and action in them, in the Church: “Simeon took the infant in his arms and praised God, saying… my eyes have seen your salvation… a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.”
• Celebrate Christmas. Celebrate Christ. Give expression to your faith, your hope, your love. To express is to experience. To praise is to appreciate. A silent faith is a dying faith. When expressions of love are lifeless they are lethal. In joy and thanksgiving love comes alive: “When the shepherds saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child” (See Luke 2: 8-32).