“Take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life.” (Luke 21:34)
For anyone who has read the whole Bible, he or she would be familiar with this statement which actually occurs three times in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible: “Behold, I am coming soon.” As we prepare for the Second Coming of Christ, we also anticipate our re-enactment of the coming of Christ at His incarnation.
Unfortunately, many Christians only prepare for festivities and frivolities. We save for a whole year only to spend everything on buying fireworks, attending comedy shows, travelling and shopping, eating and drinking, partying and relaxation. In all of these, Jesus is completely out of the picture.
I have heard many people make statements like: “Are we going to celebrate Christmas this year?” Now, the bottom line of this question is the fact that going by the situation of things this year, there might not be as much money as before to spend. Maybe we have forgotten the true spirit and purpose of Christmas. Perhaps this year happened like this so that we may realize that we don’t even need even a dime to truly celebrate Christ. We do not need new clothes, new shoes, glittering decorations, expensive lights, excess alcohol and so on… to celebrate Christ.
All we need is committing more time to daily prayer, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, meditating on the life of Christ and repentance from sinful habits and addictions. These are true gifts we offer the baby Jesus. If we allow Jesus to be the centre of our celebrations, we would be thinking of how to make Jesus happy not about how to catch fun for ourselves.
Hear what Jesus says in our Gospel passage: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life” instead “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 31:42-43)
Do not let your heart worry about the passing things of this world – you can never get enough of this world. Worry about how to please Jesus. Worry about how to remain steadfast despite the tribulations and trials we continue to face. In our first reading Jesus reveals to John: “He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7) Meanwhile, in verse 8, Jesus adds: “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, as I prepare for your coming this Christmas, may it be a truly spiritual experience for me. Amen.
Bible Study: Revelations 22:1-7, Psalm 95:1-7 and Luke 21:34-36).