Reminder at the outset: it's not Christmas yet! Indeed we are now into the 2nd week of Advent 2017 and this year my mission is to focus on kindness. I am trying to personally be a kinder person. Maybe this glimpse into the week that was will give us an idea as to how I am doing.
Of course we began Advent last weekend and I had the unexpected opportunity to preach. It felt good to be back in the ambo as I missed my preaching weekend in November with that nasty appendix situation. I was stunned last weekend too at the news that we had lost Fr. Cazenavette to cancer. After assessing the loss of this awesome holy Priest, I began to get comfortable with the idea that he is rejoicing in Heaven. The work week began very normal and by Tuesday night I was wrapping up our long walk through Acts of the Apostles for the Christmas/New Year break. Come Wednesday my big event was the doctor follow up after my appendix and some ongoing issues with serious diabetes since August. The good news, after 3 months, the numbers on both my A1C and glucose blood sugar showed marked improvements, as did my blood pressure and my weight. I would call this a great doctor visit, even if it took up most of the afternoon. Come Thursday evening, with cold and wet weather upon us it was time to prepare for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. While I would not have Thursday night duty, I was on tap for Friday nights final mass for this feast day. But Friday morning, after the usual back and forth by those meteorologist types, we awoke to icy rain, sleet and then the snowflake or two. As I made my way to work, little did I know that we would experience 6 hours of mostly snow. We are not equipped for this; schools closed, government agencies closed, businesses closed and we were even allowed to close a few hours early. The snow was exciting for all of us who do not get snow, it was beautiful, great time of year but it is also a little intimidating to drive on, especially when ice is involved. But all ended well, except for the fact that I could not get to church for mass. I was dispensed, as they say, but as a Deacon I hated that I could not make it and disappointed that I personally missed Mass on such an important and necessary solemnity.
Before I move on to the weekend, yes I did watch the Saints play Atlanta on Thursday Night Football and yes they lost. It is a potentially dangerous loss but I really don't want to break down this game or the prospects for what lies ahead for the Saints concerning playoffs. Suffice to say, I will be following them next week when they take on the Jets.
So Saturday, with the air too cold and snow still on the ground, I decided to help my wife, all day, in preparations for the arrival of my North Carolina family in the coming days. Inspired by this house work, I also decided to sort through my library of hundreds and hundreds of books! It was, believe it or not, a productive day. While we were at it we completed our decorations for the upcoming Christmas season, even though this is still Advent. Sunday brought two blessed opportunities to assist at Mass, very early this morning at 8 am and very late this afternoon/evening at 6 pm. I love proclaiming the Gospel of John the Baptist preparing the way. Tonight also brought our 1st night of Advent Parish Mission with Dr. Vall from Notre Dame Seminary. We resume the mission tomorrow night at 7.
So my Advent journey continues and I am still striving to be kind, even when cleaning house, sorting books, battling black ice and, most importantly, preparing for the coming of Jesus as Advent continues. I'm learning to understand that Jesus comes to us everyday, not just at Christmas, not just when He come again in glory, but everyday, to show us His kindness and to strengthen us in holiness.
Keep track of your Advent journey, see how much time is stuff and how much time is waiting, watching and preparing; no matter what you are doing!