Those of us of a certain age may remember a Heinz ketchup commercial using the music of the song “Anticipation.” The idea is that the ketchup is so rich and thick that it takes a while for it to come out of the bottle. You can’t rush it. Or you may remember the slogan of the Paul Masson wine commercial, “We will sell no wine before its time.” Fine wine, like many good things, takes a while to age and mature. Many of us eat “fast food” when we are in a hurry, but you may have heard of the “slow food” movement which advocates for fresh and healthy food, without a lot of processing and preservatives. You might think of Advent like that. The feast of the Incarnation, the good news that the Word has become flesh in Jesus, is so full and rich, so wonderful and delicious, that it should be savored. It takes some time to absorb and appreciate this Good News and to open up to its Mystery.
Usually the pre-Christmas days are frantic and busy with parties, shopping, trying to find a parking place at the mall, baking, etc. Countering the culture, Advent in many ways is about slowing down. It is about finding a few minutes each day to ponder, prepare, anticipate, and feeling a sense of eager expectation, not for gifts, but for the GIFT.
You have no doubt noted that the word Advent is related to the word Adventure. Pondering the Mystery of God’s love enfleshed in Jesus can take you on a spiritual journey. Enjoy the ride this Advent as we pray together with Mary, his mother, John the Baptist, who announced his coming, and Isaiah, the prophet of hope!