All humor aside as I was almost struck by a car in the Walmart parking lot where I needed to go to get a taillight bulb for my car to get it to pass inspection, I was driven to reflect on just where are the lines in today's world. What are we willing to wait in line for? I saw many people willing to wait several hours to buy a TV or a computer but rarely do I see people willing to wait 10 minutes for the Sacrament of Penance. When Sunday Mass goes longer than an hour, people complain and leave early after Holy Communion. As Catholics we need to realize that at Mass we receive the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should be willing to wait as long as it takes and then get down on our knees (if you are able) and say "Amen" with love and conviction.
It gives one pause in today's society as to what is valued. People instead of giving thanks and enjoying time with family and friends went to go stand in line to get the best deal on the newest thing because stores opened at 8pm yesterday. In this culture, in this environment Catholics need to get back to the basics. Cardinal Dolan called for this at the meeting with all bishops when they met recently.
So in this upcoming Advent season let us reflect on how much we as Catholics have to be thankful for and how much work there is to be done. There is the tradition of an Advent fast as well as a Lenten fast in the Eastern Rite Churches, maybe its time we take their example and fast this advent as well for conversion of heart and mind. We are all partners in the vineyard of the Lord and should act the part. However, for us to take the Gospel out to others it needs to first take root in our own hearts and I know for myself I find myself sometimes lacking, none of us are perfect, but I know God's grace and the Holy Spirit will make up the difference. The call is then to interior conversion and transformation, metanoia - radical transformation and adherence to Jesus Christ. The General Directory for Catechesis puts it this way; "Faith involves a change of life, a "metanoia", that is a profound transformation of mind and heart; it causes the believer to live that conversion. This transformation of life manifests itself at all levels of the Christian's existence: in his interior life of adoration and acceptance of the divine will, in his action, participation in the mission of the Church, in his married and family life; in his professional life; in fulfilling economic and social responsibilities." (55)(Emphasis mine).
(I know its not Christmas yet but this song speaks great truth)