Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday, bleh and it just ain't Christmas yet

The Day after Thanksgiving!  What type of day is this Friday for you?  What type of day should it be?  In just a few short hours after we rejoice in food, family and football, just 1 day after time set aside for reflection, remembrance and thanksgiving, this Friday has become something all together notThanksgiving like.  Let me explain.

It is only recent history that this Friday became "Black" Friday.  It is also just recent history that this Friday has become the start of Christmas season.  Truth be told; black Friday now starts on Thanksgiving day itself and the Christmas season gets ushered in with the trick or treat kids.   Now this is not a post to bash retail America or even those among us who actually enjoy the contact sport of competitive shopping.  More, I want this post to help us all reflect on who we are, what we've become and does it truly conform to God's will?

What do we believe God thinks of our human excesses as manifest in all things Black Friday?  Maybe He does not care, as long as we remain thankful, merciful and kind!  But an event like Black Friday asks us to carefully consider how can we flip a switch; those many switches in our lives that takes us from gratitude to greed, from care and concern to me first, from peace and reflection to anxiety and insanity?  The herculean effort MANY will make to shop until ya drop, in some cases including spending nights camped outside big box stores, how does this compare to our similar efforts to attend Mass, to embrace our faith, to put the needs of the poor and needy over our own needs to simply draw closer to God?  Why do we have the need to do what others do; to follow the crowd; to go along to get along; to take precious time from that which is really important to save a few bucks? 

I recognize that this time of year small businesses can make some important money and many individuals find much needed work or that necessary second job.  I guess I'll never understand, however, why this all has to happen in a day.  But if you find yourself working retail today, or if you happen to be one of those crazy shoppers, may peace be with you and don't forget to take God along for the ride.  Remember how you felt yesterday.  Remember what Thanksgiving really means.  Remember also that with the approach of Christmas, what are we truly celebrating?

And speaking of Christmas, why do we need to cave to the pressure and make today, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas time?  It is foolish especially for the Christian and without a doubt for the Catholic.  We now enter Advent, a real season of hopeful anticipation and preparation.  We do remember that we await the recognition of the birth of Jesus at Christmas but we also must anticipate and prepare for His second coming while we rejoice in all the ways He comes to us everyday, in Word and Sacrament, in His Church, in the lives He surrounds us with and the life of faith He has blessed us with.  Slow down, no need to move so fast, no need to fight for the best deal or act in a manner unworthy of the Christ who lives within us.

What type of day is this for yous?  I hope it is another great day that we live in thanksgiving; living our lives for God!  And what type of week will this be for us? Do we throw ourselves in the fight of the this world or do we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ?

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