Heart to Heart Chat
December 5, 2021 (See Fr. Xavier's Daily Reflection)
When do we celebrate Christmas? As soon as thanksgiving celebrations are done, people take out their Christmas decorations and make us feel that Christmas is already here. Is it true that we are already in the middle of Christmas or on a different time called Advent, a time to prepare, reflect, and wait? If people understand what is at the center of our celebration, then they may not rush to Christmas even before it arrives.
As St. Paul wrote to the Colossians, “As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him (Col. 2:7).” We all know well that if Jesus Christ is Lord, HE is the Lord of every aspect of our lives, body, mind and soul. He is at the center of every relationship: marriages, family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, strangers, people we interact with online. Christ should direct every activity of our lives too: finances, entertainment, leisure activities. The more we allow Christ to permeate and influence every part of our life, the better we are conformed to His image. The deeper our conformity to his image the greater is the peace we may experience in our hearts. The challenge of our culture today is that we are constantly being drawn to other things that become the center of our lives, that we are pulled in every other direction and loose our focus in Christ. Sometimes we do not even know whether we do have Christ at the center or not. It is so human that we are always in a state of ebb and flow that means we all have our ups and downs. At times we feel so strong in our faith and other times we feel so weak. When we feel weak in our faith, it is a time to stretch ourselves toward a spiritual growth that can strengthen our faith and bring Christ as the center of our lives. Advent is the best time to deepen our faith and check with oneself whether I am Christ-centered or not? It is a time intended for reflection, prayer and reconciliation anticipating the Christmas celebration. I request each one of you not to be lost in the marathon stretch of buying, doing and again getting into more buying and finally ending up in total exhaustion before Christmas. Let us make it clear that Advent is a time to prepare our hearts to welcome the Lord during Christmas. Let us fist set our Spiritual House in order. Clean it, decorate it and arrange our life as a worthy manger to receive the Lord. Then, on the day of Christmas, we will have the utmost joy of receiving him in our hearts. I wish you all once again, a fruitful Advent time.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Xavier Ilango