The fourth week of Advent is a moving target, depending on the year, but it still has its own candle: the Love Candle.

fourth week of advent love candle

Keep searching for Christ.

Christ comes to me every day, but I’m not sure I recognize or acknowledge him as such.

Am I friendly and courteous to the people who annoy me beyond measure? Do I pray for those who need it—even if I don’t think they deserve it? Can I sacrifice my pride for love?

And when I fail, as I inevitably will, can I continue to turn back to Christ, seeking him again and again...and again?

Finding Jesus is easy hard work.

I know right where to look for Jesus, but it’s hard work to really embrace him once I’m there. He’s in the poor, the sick, the weak, the abandoned. He’s the child with open arms and the whiny kid with a runny nose. He needs his juice cup refilled and he wants me to snuggle.

Am I building the kingdom and investing in what he has in mind, or am I pursuing my own interests?

Am I being called, and if I am, can I hear it for all the noise around me?

Advent’s a noisy time of year, but as we get closer to Christmas, I remember the silence of the stable, the stillness of the midnight air as I walk through the dark to Mass.

Keep it burning all year long.

This week, however long or short it is, is the one where we consider the gift we give the Christ Child. It’s the most important gift, and the hardest to part with: the gift of ourselves.

Faced with the love he has for us, the Christmas birth is new, amazing, remarkable. The Love Candle is lit within us and we’re tasked with keeping it burning throughout the year.

The only way we can succeed, though, is by holding the Baby close.

Copyright 2013 Sarah Reinhard