from Bishop Robert Morlino,
Already Advent is upon us. We have concluded our Year of Faith with gusto, and now we are called to undertake, once again, the journey of a liturgical year.
This journey begins, as always, with our preparation for entering into the most pivotal moment of human history-- the moment that God became man.
That the eternal Creator of the universe should have come amongst us, not only to dwell, but to call us to a life with and like Him, means a complete reordering of everything-- every single thing.
The profound reality of the Incarnation and its implications for our lives is why we have a season of Advent each year; we take the time to consider how each of us responds to the presence of God in our lives, and what that means for us.
...Christmas is very nice, and niceness is one of the only virtues recognized by our society. But is niceness--understood as putting on a smile and saying happy things to people, and even doing something for them (when it is convenient for us)-- really a virtue?
Did God become man just to help us to be nice? Did Jesus live His life in such an intensely nice way, that in the end, the authorities said, "this guy is just way too nice; he makes everyone feel comfortable and happy--we'd better crucify him?"
We are called to far, far more than just niceness. We are called to love-- and again, not just love as understood in greeting cards or pop songs... even Christmas pop songs!
The love to which we are called is the love for which we are to prepare during Advent.
It is the love which gives without counting the cost, the love which is always for "the other." It is the love which is "not I."