The Way to the Crib
It’s almost Christmas! That time of the year has almost just begun. The supermarkets are, rather annoyingly, inviting us to splurge on mince pies, malva puddings and fruitcake. Boney M’s “Feliz Navidad” is tickling our ears many weeks before that Happy Christmas. Strange arts-and-crafts style creations resembling Christmas trees are descending upon us.
And yet, painfully so, the year has not ended and we find ourselves stretching for the finish line. November has a funny way of tricking us into thinking that it’s all over, only for us to turn the corner and find that there is still another month to go.
Before we can get to the exciting seasons of Advent and Christmas, in November the Church calls us to contemplate the lives of the saints and to pray for all the holy souls in purgatory. This helps those souls, and it also helps us to have hope in the life that awaits us. Through the examples of the saints, we can learn how best to prepare for the life that God desires for us.
It has not been an easy year for me. I have witnessed a family face hunger. I have seen a business with customers struggling to pay. Most of us, vaccinated or not, have narrowly escaped the claws of the coronavirus. To this dreadful pandemic I say: ”Banish ye foul plague to the narrow depths from which thou camest!”
Worst of all, there has been death; too much death. I’m tired of all this dying and burying the dead. I need life!
We are not alone
Now more than ever, we need the reassurance that we are not alone. Let’s remember this: “Therefore surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1).
In this month, we also celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King. Our world is facing a crisis of leadership. Some leaders do not exercise their power at all, while others consume their power like tap water. We can see that this has led to state inefficiencies, war and its subsequent displacement of families. In our churches, those in charge are sometimes afraid to conquer the evil that is at work and those who do have the courage often stand alone.
It is for these reasons that it is absolutely imperative that we pray. We need to pray very hard. We need to storm heaven with our prayers. These are dark times and we need the reign of Christ the King to rule over our hearts, our families, our schools, our hospitals, our roads, our places of work and most especially within the Church.
It’s almost Christmas
So it’s almost Christmas. It’s almost time for awkwardly handmade Nativity scenes, cheesy Christmas movies and Christmas carols. Let us enter the seasons of Advent and Christmas with peace, joy and great anticipation of the birth of the Saviour.
This world will pass away, its towering buildings will fade, and its clamour will turn to a silence. But before then, we can rejoice with the angels and saints in heaven. It’s almost Christmas — prepare for him who brings light. Think not of the dark but of that most holy night.
This article was published in the November 2022 issue of The Southern Cross