It was a few days before Halloween, and Christmas music was playing on the radio. I could not believe my ears as the song continued to play and I became annoyed and frustrated that Christmas music was on before we had even celebrated Halloween.
It made me feel anxious because I felt rushed to prepare for the season, to then be rushed to be out of it.
In the first Gospel reading of this Advent season (Matthew 24:37-44), Jesus speaks of the coming of the Lord through three images: Noah and the Great Flood, co-workers, and thieves breaking into a house.
Noah showed great faith when preparing for the flood, but Jesus focused on the pagans and how they showed ignorance in their preparation. They did not listen to Noah's warnings and therefore they were surprised when the flood came. Do not be surprised by the coming of the Lord!
When Jesus gives the example of the co-workers in the fields, he makes a point to say that one was prepared, while the other was not. Therefore one was left behind when the Lord came down for the final time. Stay awake for the coming of the Lord! And lastly, Jesus speaks of thieves breaking into a home. Through this example, Jesus is expressing the importance of not knowing the time of day that the Lord will be coming. So be prepared!
Jesus showed his love to all people, including the marginalized in society, like the incarcerated. Reflect on what we can do as a society to focus on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large, rather than just locking these men and women up and throwing away the key.
The Second Coming and the celebration of Christmas invite us to come closer to the Lord. We must prepare because we do not know the day or the hour of the arrival of Jesus.
We cannot speed up the seasons to make it arrive, but we can begin to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Son of Man rather than being asleep and unprepared.
If we keep our focus on living and walking in Jesus' path, then those Christmas songs before Halloween won't bother us. Because we will be prepared.