The Deacon’s Bench

In a few hours I will once again have the privilege to bless our Christmas crèche at East Rockaway Village Hall. It is a Knight’s of Columbus tradition to bless the crèche at 8 PM on the first Tuesday of December… more popularly know as “Light Up For Christ,” and it is observed by virtually every Council, at that time, throughout the world. It’s a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas Season by remembering and observing the, “reason for the season!”

But let’s think, again, about the name of the celebration, “Light Up For Christ!” We gather around the crèche, sometimes in mild weather, sometimes in pouring rain and very often in freezing temperatures. We pray in word and song, we reflect on the coming of Jesus and one other thing. I suggest to you that the lighting of the crèche is actually an outward, visible symbol of what is supposed to be going on inside of each of us. It is here that we proclaim the beginning of Christmas… we acknowledge the Incarnation. God becoming man for our salvation. Earlier, I was reading from some of the works of St. Justin Martyr. One phrase, in particular, stood out for me. Justin wrote… “God became more like us, so we can become more like Him!” Think about that… God became more like us… for the sole purpose of us becoming more like Him! He loves us so much He wants us to share in His divinity! But it would not seem right for God to bless us with such a gift and we keep ourselves away from making ourselves worthy recipients.

Advent is meant to be a time of preparation… yes I know… present shopping… Christmas Cards… decorating… cooking and baking and spending time with family and friends (keeping in mind all safety precautions) but that’s not the only preparation we should be doing. We need to bring our souls to light up for Christ… we need our attitudes to light up for Christ and we need our total being to light up for Christ. How do we do that? Let’s start by seeing the Christ in each other. Jesus told us, what we’d for the least of our brothers and sisters we do for Him and what we fail to do for them… we fail to do it for Him.

As we make our way through this Advent… let’s do it with love in our hearts… joy in our souls and determination to make life just a little better for some else… even if we don’t know them or lie them.

What better preparation could there be than to please God by our thoughts, prayers and actions.

Have a holy and productive Advent and wishing you all the Merriest of Christmas!