Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Mark 1:1-8
We’re seeing the greenery of Christmas trees and wreaths everywhere now, as our hearts struggle to hold their gaze on the pale desert sands. Twinkle lights beckon us into their season, even as our souls are being called to the darkness of fasting and sacrifice. We hear Christmas carols blaring, competing with the “voice of one crying out in the desert.”
This season wants to drown us in saturation. Fleshly indulgences tempt us in the grocery store aisles, in the break room at work, and from our recipe books and Pinterest pages.
But it is only by emptying ourselves that we can truly be filled with the real joy of the Christmas season. It is only from the desert that we can really appreciate that first thirst-quenching gulp of water. It is only after a diet of locusts and wild honey that we can fully savor the Christmas feast.
We may not be called to strip ourselves of earthly pleasures as drastically as John the Baptist did, but we can take a cue from him as we prepare to receive the infant Jesus.
We can bypass the Christmas treats until after midnight Mass. We can save most of our decorating for Gaudete Sunday or Christmas Eve. We can allow ourselves to ache a little for the joys of Christmas. We can spend some time in the desert and look forward that much more to being quenched on Christmas morning.
How can you incorporate more sacrifice and prayer into your Advent?
Sweet baby Jesus, please give me the self-discipline that I need to make sacrifices for You. Help me to empty myself so that I am better prepared to receive You into my heart on Christmas morning.
Copyright 2020 Charisse Tierney
About the Author
Charisse Tierney lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Rob and seven children. Charisse is a stay-at-home mom, musician, NFP teacher, and a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist. She is also a contributing author to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion and Family Foundations magazine. Charisse blogs at Paving the Path to Purity and can be found on Facebook.