Reflection by Celeste Schonberg ’20
Waiting. We wait on popcorn shrimp days, in lines at Disney World, for our favorite band to come in town, and we wait for Christ in Advent. All of these have an exciting outcome after the delay. You get to eat your delicious lunch, experience an adrenaline rush on your favorite ride, see an awesome concert, and be filled with that joyful feeling on Christmas Day.
However, sometimes we are more impatient, like again in the popcorn shrimp line, maybe for a Snapchat to go through, for Teams to load, or the three minutes it takes to microwave Easy Mac. We wish that we could skip the wait and get straight to the good stuff. We are impatient with almost anything that doesn’t give us instant gratification, and society actively finds ways to bring us even more products quickly and easily – think of Amazon Prime. Despite this, we still aren’t as active in seeking out a relationship with God.
We’ve always learned that Advent is a time of waiting for Christ’s birth, but He’s already here. We don’t have to wait four weeks to meet Jesus, we just met Him in the Eucharist. We have the opportunity to be the right kind of impatient and are forced to work harder to build that relationship. Too often we just wait for something good to happen to recognize God’s work in our lives, or simply don’t contribute anything to our connection with Him.
Instead, use Advent to pay more attention to God’s voice. Sometimes we only hear a whisper, but He is always trying to tell us something. This liturgical season is the perfect time for quiet reflection, and in the silence, the whisper becomes clear. One of the most important things during this season is that silent prayer. Use it to your advantage, as an active way to foster your faith life. You can even just change the way you look at the holiday season.
Yes, we know that it is more about giving than receiving, and Christmas is about Jesus’ birth, not presents or parties. But what are you giving? Do you simply give of your wealth and material possessions, or do you give of your time and your genuine care for those in your friend group, your class, and even your community? Are you truly thankful for what you have been blessed with, or do you constantly search for something else to satisfy you? Let Christ bring out the best in you, because I know you are all capable of loving and sacrificing for others. Advent is said to be the mini Lent, and just as we prepare for Christ’s sacrifice and ultimate Resurrection, we must be the ones to make the sacrifice of ourselves to experience the fullness of the gift of His Incarnation.
So do not wait. Seek Him out. Start right now if you haven’t already. He longs for you to have a relationship with Him, but He can’t force you into one, that wouldn’t truly be love. That’s why we must want that relationship with Christ ourselves. Are you ready to hold Baby Jesus close? Are you ready to dive headfirst into your faith? Take time this Advent to prepare for a deeper connection with Christ that will come through this Christmas season. He calls you to Him like He called the shepherds and the wisemen to the nativity. Listen to the call and don’t hesitate. You’ve been given the chance to skip the line. Take it!
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