I’d like to start off this post by just giving a brief background about this season. Brief, I promise.
WHAT IS ADVENT?
Advent typically means “the arrival of a notable person or thing”. Advent begins the liturgical year in the church. In advent, we prepare for the coming of the Son of God among us. Our confidence about His coming is based on our faith. Advent is a time of joyful preparation for Christmas that captures the imaginations and hearts of all Christians.
The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.
The lighting of candles during Advent also reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the World. He asks us to be the light for the world too. In Advent, we let our light shine. We help people. We do secret good deeds for each other, without expecting anything in return. Christmas is, after all, the season of giving.
For the entire background on Advent, please feel free to look it up; the Internet is filled with information on the same. I don’t want this blog to be just like another of my assignments, where I just copy-paste information, so I’m going to get on with what I’ve written now. No more facts.
First Sunday of Advent: Reaching out.
There cannot be a more fitting way to prepare for the coming of our Lord than by doing things that are pleasing to Him. One of the many advent-related activities is doing a good deed. There normally is a varying list of good deeds that people can undertake as per their liking. One of them that I’d like to talk about today is.. Helping out.
Be it at home, or at work, or even something as small as helping someone cross the road; it is these very acts that reflect our devotion to God. It is these very acts that make Him feel loved and welcomed in our lives. It does not cost us anything to help someone out; maybe just a little of our time, but could there possibly be a better way to spend our time than using it to make someone happy?
Personally, I’m a VERY lazy person. I take the term “laziness” to an all-new extreme. Even the people that are home-bound are more active than me most times. Due to my laziness, I can never get tasks done for myself — switching on the fan when it’s hot, switching off the light before sleeping when I’m already tucked in, getting water for myself when I’m dying of thirst, and.. you get the point — let alone for someone else. My parents try their best by giving me just minimal tasks to do around the house, but it is not until I’m reminded several times that I get to them, reluctantly. Helping someone across the road seems fairly easier, but I can also make an entire mess of the situation, so I’d rather not.
I’ve never actually gone out of my way to help people. Maybe once or twice, yes; but those were for people I really cared about. Until today, I’ve always lived with this notion: “if no one’s asking for help, no one needs help.” But, I’ve come to realize how selfish that attitude is. One of the many things that we can learn from Christ is His selflessness and readiness to help others. Sure, it can be annoying, and it is challenging, especially when people don’t receive your kindness in the way you would want them to, but it’s what we’re called to do in our lives, each of us. I’ve managed to help people out a few times in my entire life, and trust me, the feeling you get after that is better than any you’d receive by doing something for yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a follower of Christ, or even a theist for that matter, but I think if each of us put in just a little effort, and cared even just a little about the needs of the people around us, we could collectively make a difference in the world, apart from just bettering our own lives and relationships.
I leave you with this list of Christmas carols to listen to. Until next time!
1. Have a very merry Christmas
2. Walking in a Winter Wonderland
3. Mary’s Boy Child
4. O Come All Ye Faithful
5. Christmas Lights-Coldplay. (Just because I love them).