Fr. Bolek's Message on Advent

Fr Eric Bolek.jpg

The Tech Ministry has asked Fr. Bolek to share some comments on Advent.

Fr. Bolek, you keep talking about treating Advent like Advent and not like Christmas. Well, tell me, how do I have a good Advent season?

 

That’s a great question! To begin, Advent is two‐fold. It is about preparing for Christmas, but
that does not technically start until December 17th. The first part of Advent, December 3rd to December 16th, is not about Jesus coming as a child in Bethlehem, but Jesus coming at the end of time as the Judge of the World.

We are called to prepare a way for the Lord in our hearts and be ready for his final coming when He will judge the living and the dead. Are you ready to meet God? Are you ready for the Final Judgment? Are you prepared to meet your maker? Have you helped others get ready for the Lord’s coming? How about your family, siblings, friends, co‐workers?

These are great reflection questions for the Advent season.

The two things I would encourage most would be the Eucharist and Confession. Spend more
time receiving and adoring the Eucharist and get to Confession more often:

  • There are ample times to get to Confession; all you need to do is commit and show up. Use a good examination of conscience to prepare and give all your sins to the Lord. Jesus loves you and wants you home with Him -  be not afraid. Confession exists for one reason, to help you!
  • If Advent is about preparing for Jesus, then spend more and more time with Him in the Eucharist. We know He is there, so why not spend time with Him. In a season where there seems to be no time at all, spend your best time with Him, in a certain sense, waste time with Him!

Here are practical things to consider

  • Strive to attend daily Mass more than usual - put the day and time of Daily Mass in your calendar!
  • Get to confession ‐ schedule when you are going to go right now!
  • Read the Daily Mass readings, even if you cannot attend Daily Mass.
  • Spend time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (Monday 9:00am to 9:00pm, Wednesday 9:00am to 9:00pm, Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm).
  • Postpone decorating for Christmas as long as you can, and then celebrate Christmas for its entirety by keeping your decorations up until January 11 (the baptism of the Lord) or February 2 (The Presentation of our Lord in the Temple).
  • Have an advent wreath and use it daily for prayer.
  • Be sure to leave the Jesus figurine out of your Nativity Scene until Christmas Eve.
  • Spend more time in silence - consider turning off the radio in the car, the television, iPhone, etc.
  • Pray a Daily Rosary and reflect upon the Joyful Mysteries.
  • Allow the Feasts and Dates of Advent to influence your daily life.
  • It’s too late this year, but next year consider celebrating St. Nicholas’ Feast Day - December 6.
  • Be sure to attend Holy Mass on December 7th or 8th ‐ The Immaculate Conception.
  • Honor Juan Diego on December 9th and our Lady of Guadalupe ‐ December 12th.
  • Wear rose to Mass on December 16/17 for Gaudete Sunday.
  • Look for opportunities to make the season about Jesus and not about gifts, food, and obligations.
  • Give to the poor more than you give to your own family.