This moving bronze statue of the Holy Family on its flight to Egypt may seem a preemptive jump to Christmas, still four weeks away. However, when we look at the season of Advent in a larger context, don’t we see that the whole story is one big adventure, an adventure that we are all beginning again each year? Having just finished a spiritual retreat on the first Sunday of Advent, I would like to give you three tips on living this year’s Advent with a greater spirit of adventure.
First: Open the Scriptures and read the Christmas story, including the Old Testament references (usually as text notes). This will help you focus on the real meaning of Christmas, right from the beginning.
Second: Finish Holiday Shopping early. With so many things available on-line, it can be adventurous and time saving to shop electronically. While materialism is always a potential problem here, the people we love and serve deserve some material signs of affection and connection with the gifts given to Jesus, himself the Gift to us.
Third: Get to confession early this Advent. Why wait for the special Advent penance services (which are great) when you can receive forgiveness and peace from sacramental absulution right away? Most priests will be overjoyed to comply. Blessings!