CHRISTMAS IS AROUND THE CORNER once again and the bells are ringing.  The question during this advent period is "Are we ready for Jesus Christ". How do we prepare to meet Jesus during this season of advent? First and foremost, we need to build our relationship with Him based on trust. God is always listening to the yearnings of His children.  But it is a pity that we really do not put our hopes and trust in God.  We always want to gamble with God by worshipping other lesser gods who cannot solve our problems permanently.  We need a permanent solution to our problems and not to visit other gods that will conpound our problems by solving them temporarily.

Let us continually search for God in all our endeavours.  The search for God should begin with us, families and friends and to the larger society.  Let all our actions and deeds be tailored towards the grace and blessings of God. Call to prayer should be the watchword of Christians especially Catholics.  We are the salt of the world and we should try as much as possible not to lose the taste of the salt. The search for God in us begins with prayer.  The scriptures say pray at all seasons without rest.  Prayer is the staff of a good and complete Christian. Let us continually pray to the holy trinity that is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in whom lies our strength.

In our daily activities let us be generous in all ramifications.  It would be nice to share our time and money to make the poor joyful. The little we are able to give will make someone remember that we care.  Jesus fed five thousand with 2 fish and 3 loaves of bread.  So in whatever we give, as little as it may look like we are contributing our quota to the growth and development of somebody. In this time of advent when we are preparing for the Lord's coming, our money and time can be judiciously used for the betterment of humanity and society.

Majority of us are already preparing for Christmas through the purchase of cloths, foods and drinks.  But we need to know that Christmas is beyond these.  We need to reflect on the messiah that is coming to live among us.  We therefore need to reconcile with God in our daily lives and activities. As Catholics, the sacrament of confession is readily available for us to tell God we are sorry for all that we have done which is/are against the rules of the almighty.  Reconciliation should not be only with God but with our neighbours that we have offended overtime in our actions and inactions, in our thoughts, words and deeds. We should approach our fellow brothers and sisters with a contrite heart and tell them we are sorry. God will definitely appreciate this from us because He does not rejoice in the death of a sinner but rejoices in one who reconciles with Him and his neighbours thereby bringing peace and tranquillity to the whole world.

As Christians, our actions should be matched with our beliefs.  This is the era where you do what you say and not the other way round.  Be a role model of Christianity to the world around you.  Let people see in you the Christ-like attitude.  This should be done because even when Jesus was on the cross, he forgave the repentant thief and also forgave those who mocked Him.  He said 'father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing".  I strongly believe that those who crucified Jesus Christ will be regretting their actions and deeds. But their regret will be late by now unlike us who still have the opportunity to repent and follow Christ.  Our reward is eternal joy.

The power of love should radiate all our beings in our daily activities with our fellow human beings. Let love be among us. Love does not hate nor does it fight.  It softens the hard-hearted and makes life meaningful for everyone. Show a little kindness to others through simple and kind gestures.  To survive in this world is to love one another.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son to us that whoever believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The quality of the Christian life is measured by the capacity to love.

The Lord has blessed us with different gifts and blessings; then we need to be grateful in all situations. Gratitude is a gift from God because most times we normally think we are so mighty and untouchable that is why God is sparing our lives but it is not so.  It is because of His graces and mercies that we continue to live without being punished for our sins.  For if God should mark our sins who will remain in this world.

Try as much as possible to propagate the faith.  Speak about God to those who do not believe in Him.  Do not be ashamed of speaking in the public for if you deny God in public He will also deny you before His father in heaven.  Let your tongue always wax stronger let it be used as an instrument of propagation of the gospel, the good news. In our world today, most Christians are ashamed of praising God. It is hard to be sad or depressed when you are praising God.

As you speak, be the light that illuminates the hearts of the unrighteous.  Give light to others with joy and faithfulness.  To bring Christ to the unbelievers, you need to continually praise God. Praise is a shared life with God.  We cannot grow in our Christian spirituality unless we make praise part and parcel of our daily exercise and meditation.  God does not demand anything in return for His act of benevolence, but only demands praise and thanksgiving.

Finally, we need a life of prayer.  We need to dedicate some special time during the day to worship God in prayer and in spirit, for God is spirit and we have to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

God is great and mighty!!!


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