This weekend begins the season of Advent, which marks the start of a new liturgical / Church year. The Advent wreath helps us mark the four weeks preceding the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus at Christmas when we marvel at how God became a human being! There is a dual nature to the spiritual preparation we undertake in this season.
"When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor's (John the Baptist's) birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: 'He must increase, but I must decrease.'" (Catechism # 524) And so, we'll hear in the scriptures of the Masses of Advent some references to the coming of Christ at the end of the world as well as events which led to Jesus' first coming among us in history.
How will you prepare for Christ to come to you in a deeper way this Advent? Besides participating in the special opportunities planned for this season listed in today's bulletin, I hope you will take some extra time to allow Jesus to come and speak to you in silence during the hustle and bustle of this time of year. In addition to participating at Mass every weekend, which is our way of life as Catholics, perhaps coming to Mass on a weekday could become a beneficial spiritual practice for you this Advent. Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is another important way to "Prepare the way of the Lord."
Still another way is to become more in tune with the presence of Jesus within us, in the poor and needy around us, and in the often unexpected occasions when He becomes present through providential circumstances. Preparing spiritually in these ways will allow us to respond to Jesus with hearts open to be filled with love, joy, hope and peace, and will engender within us a deeper desire to fill with Christ's love the hearts of those who need to be reminded that Jesus is with them!
May you and your loved ones have a blessed and fruitful Advent, and may those whom Jesus has placed along your path come to know and be blessed by the presence of Christ at work in and through you. You’ll be helping them, as well as yourself, to “prepare the way of the Lord!”BACK TO LIST