Dear St. Athanasius Academy Family and Friends,
Today I extend my festal greetings to all of you as we close out another Fall term of classes and enter into the final week of preparation for the Nativity of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ! I humbly ask the Lord’s blessing upon all of you for a joyous, peaceful, and grace-filled festive season and new year. Christ is born! Glorify Him!
A lot of time, energy, and effort go into closing out a semester! A lot also goes into preparing ourselves for Christ’s coming! Trying to do both at the same time can be a stretch for the best of us–tiring, stressful, but also rewarding. In fact, the coming of the Lord is meant to be a gift to us, of Divine Love.
“Christ is Born, glorify Him. Christ is from Heaven, receive ye Him. Christ is on earth, be ye exalted. O all the earth, sing unto the Lord…” (Ode 1, Nativity Canon).
As we close the books on another semester I encourage all of us to turn the focus of our hearts and minds to the coming of the Lord so that we may receive Him. Whether we have thus far kept the Fast or not, or kept it imperfectly; whether we have already been preparing our minds and hearts, or are only just beginning to find time and attention to do so…let us be alert to the coming of the Lord.
Let us be alert to the coming of the Lord so that we can recognize Him, and recognize His invitation to us as being something for which we should long and desire and be prepared, for He comes to exalt us in His Love.
Let us be alert so we can recognize the Lord not only on the Feast of His Nativity but so we can recognize Him in those with whom we live, with whom we work, those whom we love, those with whom we have strife, with whom we struggle–all those with whom we work out our salvation–for it is with them that we glorify Him.
Let us be alert so we can see the coming of Our Lord in the daily news, as grim as it often is, and in the daily activities of our life, as difficult as they may be. Be alert to the coming of the Lord so that we can see Him in all things and at all times because the Lord is coming.
The Lord is always coming. It is His promise to us that He is always coming to us. So we must be alert to this coming. When we have ears to hear and eyes to see, then we will be able to recognize Him at any moment of our life. Because life is, in fact, Advent. Life is, in fact, the coming of the Lord. May we be prepared for Him, and in so doing we will be prepared for our life as well, for our life will be life, and life abundant, in the coming of the Lord.
I look forward to a new Spring semester with all of you!
May God bless you and keep you!