Editor’s Note:  On this fourth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Anna Fluharty reflects on what it means to embrace Advent as a DC Service Corps volunteer serving at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School. 


To embrace is to hold someone close or to conceive and radically support a motion. There’s a difference between holding and embracing and in accepting and embracing. A mother does not hold her baby, she embraces them. A priest does not merely accept Catholic teaching, he embraces it. In the same way, we, as Catholics, are called to embrace the season of Advent to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Light of the World. 

Embracing Advent feels a lot different for me this year. I have come to the realization that to give myself in a year of service at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School requires me to embrace. If I do not fully give myself during my service, then I am merely holding and accepting rather than embracing. In advent, we learn that Mary embraces her calling from God by giving her fiat, her “yes” to be His handmaid. Christ embraces the world, coming as God in the form of a defenseless baby. In the same way, I know that this Advent I am called to embrace my service, and to embrace the people I get to walk with more fully than ever before.

To fully love is to embrace. This Advent, Our Lady and Our Savior show us what it means to fully give themselves, to embrace humanity. I pray that I can resemble even a fraction of their love as I attempt to fully embrace like them this Advent.