It’s Advent once again and the busy-ness has commenced. Every year it’s a challenge for me to focus on my spiritual preparations while I’m buried beneath the demands of my to-do list. There’s so much to do! But a few years ago I had a mini-revelation-Advent preparations are very much like preparing to host a party. After all, Jesus is the greatest “guest” we could ever welcome into our hearts and our homes. So, why not welcome the Guest in the same way we would welcome friends and family into our home?
Imagine it-You’ve decided to host a party. What’s the first thing you do? Set a date. The Church has set the date as December 25th so there’s one thing you can cross off your list right away. Next, you make up your invitation list. Who will you invite? You probably want to invite people that you think will actually come to the party. But you also want to invite the people in your life that you’re willing to share your home with. As far as Advent and Christmas are concerned, our Guest will always come if invited. The question is: are you really willing to share your home with Him? Keep in mind that the decision to invite Jesus into your life is not an easy one for many people. And deciding to focus on Jesus during this time of year is a bit like going on a diet the day before Thanksgiving; it’s not impossible but it is a challenge.
The next thing you probably do is plan the party activities. What are you going to do with your special guest? This is a great time to think about additional prayer, devotions, or mass attendance. It’s also a great time to consider acts of service for those you know as well as those you don’t. But the most important thing to do with your guest is enjoy His presence. After all, what kind of host would you be if you invited someone to your home and then ignored them all evening? A good host spends time focused on their guest; making them feel welcome and special. A great way I’ve found to welcome Jesus and focus on Him is through Eucharistic Adoration. Spending time with our Lord in Adoration is like sitting down for a nice long conversation with a good friend-I come away feeling grounded and peaceful while my Friend feels how special He is to me.
By now the party date is approaching and it’s time to start cleaning the house to make sure it’s ready to receive your Guest. The best way to clean your spiritual “house” is through Reconciliation. Clear out the clutter of those sins and get your soul scrubbed clean. What better way to finish your preparations and make way for your Guest than a squeaky clean soul?
The next thing you know, Christmas is here and the party begins. This is when you get to bask in the joy of the moment. Christmas mass is just like any other party; there will be special music, special clothes, and lots of fellowship. You’ll dress up in your best party clothes, share stories through scripture readings, and eat and drink the Bread and Wine. You’ll spend time enjoying the presence of all the guests but especially the guest of honor-Jesus.
So, this year as you make your plans for Christmas I hope that you’ll add in a little party planning amidst your shopping lists and cookie baking. I think your Guest will really appreciate it.
Copyright 2014 Laura Nelson