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We all need Advent

Q: Archbishop J, why wait to celebrate Christmas?

The secularisation of Christmas has been a creeping spiritual cancer. By October we are already in the height of the Christmas season with colourfully lit trees, snow and snowmen with sleds on top of houses. Radio stations play Christmas music from October and everyone is promoting Christmas cheer.

The problem is this is about commercial interest, getting people to buy and spend. It has little to do with Christ who was born in utter simplicity, humility and poverty. Commercialism in Christmas is real. It is the biggest season of gift-giving. When commerce subverts the meaning of Christmas; when the celebration of the greatest gift ever given and received becomes a great time for buying and selling, we have to resist. We have to wake up and recognise something is wrong here. Christmas is fast becoming more of a secular money-making season than a religious season. This needs to be challenged.

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