advent-wreath1It takes hours to prepare and minutes to eat.  You know what I’m talking about.  Whether it’s a Thanksgiving meal or another special occasion, the time invested in getting the meal together boggles my microwave mind.

“Great meal, mom,” is the three word response from hours of toil.  Three words.  Take our Christian tradition and you get the same results.  “Great job, God.”  Centuries have preceded us with the toils and efforts of saints and sinners that have brought us to this day.  “Upon whose shoulders we stand,” we could say to ourselves.  From your favorite saint to saints you’ve never heard of, are united with us each day in the the short minutes we call our lives.  We marvel at 90 years while the centuries build upon and continue building the Kingdom of God.

Advent is always about beginnings.  Our beginnings and going back to the beginnings of how many folks before us.  We don’t always like to think of beginnings because it may mean changing something within us.  And we all know how we feel about that ugly word, change.  Luckily, that’s the season of Lent’s responsibility, reflecting upon our lives toward change.  Advent is simply and beautifully about beginnings – our own and that of others.  Re-root yourselves into the lives of your parents as you entered this world.  Re-root yourselves in the sinners and saints who out date you.  Re-root yourselves in a good book about holiness, trials, sufferings, joys and ecstasies.  My Advent reading this year is Flannery O’Connor, an ordinary writer with extraordinary spiritual insights.

I hope that she brings me back to my beginnings in anticipation of another renewal in the birth of Christ.  It took Flannery a lifetime to write in what I’ll read in just minutes.  “Great book, Flannery” will be my three words when I’m finished.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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