I have something to admit… due to the relentless pace of this term I have not been able to keep up with the weekly reflections on our themes. I can promise that we still have used them each week as a prompt for our reflection and prayer at school but also know the benefits of looking to write these reflections too.
I was ready to challenge myself to take make a renewed commitment to doing this each week from 1st January… all of us probably have a list of aspirations for 2016 ranging from a new fitness regime, a better work/life balance to more time for those we care about most. I realised that if I waited until the chime of the midnight bells I may miss the opportunity to get on and get things right.
In the liturgical cycle the start of the new year begins in the season of Advent so I have taken the challenge to get into the right habit now and will try and share a reflection each week. I hope it is of some use and I know even in doing so it can prompt me to reflect and pray in a deeper way.
As we rush headlong towards Christmas it is easy to forget what we are getting ready for. We get immersed in the busyness of school and home life as the days fly by. At times we may get drawn into the frenzy of planning, buying gifts and ensuring we “do our bit” for family life this year.
The Gospel this week tells us of the prophecy of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. He was chosen to “prepare the way of the Lord” and create fertile soil to spread the Good News of the Gospel. He managed to reject the temptation to feel like he was the “main event” and he went on to sacrifice his life for his faith. His challenge remains to us today – “are you ready?”
What can we take from all this?
The world is challenged by many dark times at the moment – war, violence, conflict, terrorism and injustice. We could blindly accept these issues as “just the way things are” or look to make a positive difference in some small way.
As Christian communities today we are called to bring “light to the darkness”. Our faith cannot be a theoretical ideal we wheel out on Sunday but needs to be lived out in our actions, decisions and choices.
So beyond the presents, parties and celebrations we need to try and grasp hold of what we are really preparing for…
Put simply… be prepared for Christ to be welcomed afresh into your life – if we can truly do this I believe that it will be a Christmas that none of us will ever forget.