2013-11-29 / Chaplain's News

The Season of Advent

By Chaplain (Capt.) Joseph Lea
Catholic Chaplain

As a military community, we are constantly training and preparing – whether we are doing online training or field exercises.

This constant training is such a part of our daily lives that probably after a while it seems like second nature – there is always some training that has to be accomplished.

For Christians, the season of Advent provides a similar opportunity. Advent – the four weeks prior to Christmas – is a time of “training” and preparation, a time to reexamine our lives and our priorities and to see whether our lives are truly Christ-centered. The word Advent - simply translated – mean to approach, come, to draw near. But it is meant to be a two way experience – of Christ drawing near to us and us striving to draw closer to Him. And this is where our “training” needs to take place.

Many of us call ourselves Christians – but what do we really mean? Do we practice our faith, do we attend services, are we striving to grow in our moral and spiritual lives? What do we really mean when we call ourselves Christians? Or is Christian just something to mark down on a form in case something tragic should happen to us. Perhaps Christian is a misnomer. Maybe we really don’t mean it. Perhaps the tragedy has already occurred – perhaps the tragedy is that so many Christians allow the reality to be just a word recorded on a form and not a lived experience. All Christians share some responsibility for this – every Christian needs to authentically live out their faith.

Again this is why this Advent season of training and preparation is so important. We need to look at our lives and see whether Christian is really a priority or merely a word. Once again the Christmas season is well under way – gifts to buy, parties to attend, decorations to put up, so many things that have to get done – but Christ must be the priority. Perhaps this year Christ will truly feel welcomed – in our homes and in our lives.

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