Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Remember when your mother or father would say, “Please, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”? This would be very good advice for this Advent season. As you read this Love One Another (LOA), it is only 19 days to Christmas Eve. This season will not treat procrastinators with gentleness – before we know it, Christmas will be here. During the usual four weeks of Advent, we take the opportunity to adjust our schedule and emphasize our spiritual life preparing for the celebration of the great mystery of the Incarnation.
When we expect an important guest, we prepare for their visit. We tidy up our homes, plan a schedule and arrange our menus, all in an effort to receive our guest in the best manner possible. Advent season is a time of preparation. We are preparing to celebrate God becoming one with us through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Incarnation: The fact that the Son of God assumed human nature and became man in order to accomplish our salvation in that same human nature. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, is both true God and true man, not part God and part man.
Last Sunday’s Gospel spoke of an active vigilance: “Watch!” Before we realize it, Christmas will be upon us. Will we be ready to receive the Son of God? There are a few adjustments we can make in our behavior to prepare. First, we can include a daily prayer into our routine. It doesn’t have to be long, but focused on the theme of preparation. Second, the internal house needs to be tidied up, so we need to go to reconciliation (confession). This sacrament offers us the ability to be strengthened by grace. Lastly, we should intentionally do some good work of charity (serve at a meal kitchen, donate some clothes to a shelter, or visit friends or family in a nursing home), so that the gift of the Son, which we receive into our hearts, will be generously shared with our brothers and sisters.
Watch and prepare our celebration of Christmas – it is nearer than we think. But, with each breath, our ultimate encounter with the Lord is closer than we think, so let us prepare our hearts to receive Christ as we LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Note: This blog originally appeared as the December 5, 2017 "Love One Another" email sent to Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki. If you are interested in signing up for these email messages, please click here.