Have you ever been to a concert of your favorite band?

You stand in a mass of people waiting for the band to come out. Everyone just wants to get to the front, to be closer. Some are chanting the band’s name while others are quiet in anticipation.

The buzz of excited conversations about where they first heard the band, how much they love this band, and all the facts they know about them. You overhear, “I can’t believe I’m finally going to see them,” as you squeeze through the crowd to get closer to the front.

You put this day on your calendar and count down the days to this monumental event. Some people, maybe even you, drove hours to be here, listening to the band’s music the whole way in order to get into the spirit.

When the band finally comes out, everyone screams excitedly and claps. Everyone sings their songs together as they play and for a couple of minutes everyone is unified and smiling. “I love this band.”

Maybe I’m the only one that feels this way about concerts, but I think this is how we should behave as we await the birth of Christ. Yes, that was thousands of years ago, but each year we are asked to ground ourselves in our faith in order to await the birth of our Lord.

We prepare our hearts and countdown the days until Jesus arrives. We sing Advent songs as we wait and celebrate with a Mass, yet… Where is our excitement?

Everyone is excited about the gifts, but when it comes to the actual celebration of Christ’s birth in Mass, we are disinterested. In Christmas Eve Mass, everyone is yawning, falling asleep, or just plain bored. The majority is half listening and half planning when they’ll have time to wrap the Christmas gifts.

Where is the joy? Where is the love? Where is the glorious realization that God gave up his only son to make him human, to go through our mundane struggles so that he could be sacrificed to pay for our sins? Where is our priority?

On this last day of preparation, ask yourself these questions. Prepare your heart. Remember your God. Remember just exactly what the birth of Christ means.

Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Michigan. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various articles in the Catholic Diocese of Austin’s official newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, and other local publications. She now works as the Content Specialist in Diocesan’s Web Department.