Have you ever had something that you seriously looked forward to? Think of graduation or your wedding day or a certain birthday. The anticipation for Christmas is one that most of us can relate to. But we spend so much time hyping up the holiday that by the time Christmas actually comes around, it doesn’t feel as good as when we were waiting for it.
We can get so caught up in the holiday rush. We have people to visit or people coming to visit. We have to plan meals and budgets and hunt for the best sales. We have flights to catch and deadlines and...in the midst of this rush, God can get lost in the shuffle. It’s a cliche but it’s true. We end up being like Martha in today’s passage from Luke, worried and distracted about many things.
It’s not a bad thing to work. But in this world where we constantly rush and cut corners, where social media constantly keeps us up to date on everything, who are we giving our time and listening to? Do we listen to our endless stream of worries? Or do we listen to the Lord? When we take a step back from everything, we can listen to God and begin to properly anticipate the coming season.
One wonderful thing about being Catholic is that Christmas lasts for more than just one day. The revelry and celebration last long enough for us to properly enjoy the holiday so that by the time the actual Christmas season is over, we are ready to go back into reality. Until then, there is a certain joy in anticipation, as seen in today’s passage from Zephaniah. Even as we make our plans and deal with traffic, lines, and the everyday inconveniences, we can have joy knowing that we are going to celebrate the birth of our Lord
To me, the passage comes of as a celebration of being rescued. The book of Zephaniah talks of Jerusalem being restored after Israel turns away from false idols and comes back to God. In a sense, it’s as if God is rescuing Israel from itself.
Today, take some time to pray. Let God rescue you from the holiday rush. Think of all the things that God did for you this year and anticipate what He will do for you in the future.Take a moment to sit and listen to Him. Then return to the action and go forth with the joy of anticipation. I pray that you will find joy today.
1.How do you think we can turn everyday annoyances into opportunities to be joyful?
2.Was there ever a time when you enjoyed the anticipation of something more than the actual event? How do you think you can actually enjoy the moment?
3.Where do your thoughts wander to when you’re idle? What are ways that we can be more aware of God when we feel bored?
This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts.
To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link.