Remember that Advent has two component to it. The first half of Advent we are preparing for the second coming of Christ. (Apparently most people think that when He comes again it will be at the mall.) The second half of advent we prepare for His arrival in the manger at Bethlehem.
Isn’t it cool that we don’t just remember this event? It is not like Independence Day on which we say, “Remember about 200 years ago when this cool thing happened? I’ll take my burger medium please.” Instead, we get inside the story and live it. We go to Mass to celebrate the event and then go home to mark it as if it were taking place at this time. We open presents, pray as families, celebrate the birth not as a historical event but as something alive, active, and current.
After the day, we don’t just pack the idea away like our ornaments. We continue to follow and live with Christ through the liturgical year as He grows, pulls His disciples together, ministers, and finally dies and resurrects. It is a life that transcends time.
Today, we live the period just before the birth of Christ. We live in expectation. All the oracles of the prophets are coming true and aligning. The star is settling into place. Mary and Joseph are nearing the end of their journey. The manger does not yet know that it will be housing such august guests. There is something in the air. We know eternity is changing. We just need to be aware.