The Word Among Us

Advent 2020 Issue

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By: Jeff Smith

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!: Dear Brothers and Sisters, by Jeff Smith

What a year it has been! I would have never imagined a year ago that we would face a worldwide pandemic that would change our lives so dramatically. But still, even as our daily lives have been upended, one thing has not changed: the love of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is one vital truth about anyone who places their faith in the God who never changes: their life is built on a sure foundation. They can stand firm in the midst of storms and witness to other people of how to find strength in the midst of a trial. You are that person! God is close to you, closer than you can ever know. He not only walks beside you; he lives within you. He is there to strengthen you every day, to comfort you, and to guide you. Words cannot express how close God is to you at this moment!

And so we come to the season of Advent, when we cry out, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!” We ask Jesus to come into our lives just as he came to earth on Christmas to live among us. Even we, who believe that Christ lives in us, can ask Jesus to come to us more fully and to become an even stronger foundation for our lives. So let’s pray throughout this season, “Jesus, come into my life this Advent! Come dwell with me, with my family, and with your whole Church. Even more, come to those who have yet to meet you. Let them know the love that you have for them!”

I want to encourage you to seek the Lord’s presence in daily prayer, Mass, or Eucharistic Adoration this season. Start today! Try to spend fifteen to twenty minutes in some form of prayer each day. Maybe you already do this or more, and praise God if you do! But imagine how pleasing it would be to God if all of us would commit to seeking his face every day this Advent!

Every day, ponder the daily Mass readings and the daily meditations that you’ll find in this magazine. Then, talk with the Lord. What can you talk to God about? It’s always good to start by thanking him for his love and faithfulness. As we say at Mass, “It is right and just” to give him thanks and praise. You can also ask forgiveness for any wrongdoings of which you are aware. Then, take a minute and ask the Lord to speak to your heart. Finally, lift up all of your needs and concerns and trials to the Lord. Before you know it, you will have spent twenty minutes with the Lord!

Try to do a little bit more during the weekend. Some time before Sunday Mass, take a few minutes to read one of the articles in the front of this magazine. Let what you read help you meet Jesus a little more deeply during Mass.

Do just these few simple things, and by the time Christmas rolls around, you will know God’s presence in your life more deeply.

O come, Emmanuel! Come into our hearts!

Jeff Smith
President, [email protected]