First Sunday in Advent
Fr. Anthony Brankin
Of course we all know that there are two Christmas seasons in the United States. There is the Christmas season of the Church in which we prepare for the birth of the Messiah—and proclaim our love for the One who is going to save us from our sins. Then there is the Christmas season of the merchants—in which we prepare for an orgy of gift-giving and receiving for no apparent purpose other than boosting profits for the merchants. I think of the constant harangue about Black Friday—and how they spend all their time and energy trying to convince us how important it is for all the stores to turn a significant profit on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That’s all we hear about for weeks before Thanksgiving. And now the next big day is Cyber Monday— whatever that is!
So—Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important to whom? Important for what reason? What is our stake in the success of Macy’s and Target and Walmart? We are supposed to be concerned about how much they have made? We are supposed to be worried about them as they seduce us into buying things we really don’t need to give to people we really don’t like? This is supposed to be what Christmas means? I don’t think so.