Attend a tea making ceremony on Mount Koyasan in Japan, address Leinster House, appear in Fair City, travel Route 66….. and so on. You may have seen the movie, The Bucket List? Perhaps not. Whether you have or you haven’t, no doubt you will be familiar with the idea of things to do before you die. You know how it goes, if God forbid you found out you had a year to live, what five or ten things would you feel you would have to do?’ Certainly with such news things are put into perspective.

Advent can be a bit like that, but not in a morbid sense. In fact there is nothing morbid about Advent, but it tends to put things in perspective. What exactly does this mean?

Well if you notice the Advent readings they speak about getting ready, about staying awake, about being alert. The theme of waiting, of preparation is very’ prevalent in this beautiful season. It is so important that we do not waste Advent. In this sense our Advent waiting is not a twiddle the thumbs waiting, a bored, how shall I put in the time waiting. No rather one of the great and beautiful things about Advent is that the waiting is an active, joyful, busy period of getting ready.

However for us, who are trying to be faithful followers of Jesus of Nazareth, it is good to name what exactly we are waiting for, what’s all this preparation about? Christmas? Yes of course.

Are you looking forward to Christmas? I certainly am! I absolutely love Christmas. Now when I say that I appreciate that it can be a sad and lonely time of year and yes I certainly miss my loved ones who have gone before me. I especially miss my Dad, gone such a long time now and so early, much too soon. Gone at sixty after a battle with stomach cancer. Most of all I miss Bridie. My ma! Gone only a few years. What a woman! What laughs we had…a few fights…very few….and almost none of them serious. Yea I miss Bridie and especially at Christmas. Yet I still love Christmas? I sure do. Perhaps more than ever. Bridie loved Christmas. Bridie would want me to keep loving Christmas.

I look forward to the carol service, to Christmas Confession, to turkey, ham and especially mince pies! Wouldn’t it be great if there was snow? I can’t wait for the children’s Masses. Christmas cards are good.

Sometimes I worry that this might be the year that Santa doesn’t come to me and then I smile and say to myself well this is my fifty eighth Christmas and he hasn’t let me down yet. Santa is cool.

Yea Santa is cool and Jesus is King! So my friends happy Advent. May it be our best yet. Get busy and get ready for the special day. The birth day. The birthday of Jesus. And when you are ready sit down and just wait. Wait with a big smile and an open heart and wait on the little baby we know as Wonder Counsellor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace!

Fraternally, JoeMcD.


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