No, I am not confused. This First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical
year in the Catholic Church. When I was very young, a long time ago, the holiday season
meant one thing to me–Christmas. As a child I remember preparing and decorating the house, waiting expectantly for the Sears Wish Book so that I could make known my “needs” for Christmas, and baking, lots of baking! And though we joined the secular world in celebrating the holidays, my parents and grandparents always made sure we understood just what we were celebrating–the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As I matured and had my own children, I carried on the beautiful and meaningful traditions of a family who was committed to teaching our children about Jesus. But it wasn’t until I began to teach high school students about the Church’s liturgical calendar that I came to understand that what the Church is preparing for during the four weeks of Advent was the SECOND coming of Christ; the parousia. So important is the message from Jesus Christ at his Ascension that he would return, that the Catholic Church, born of Jesus Christ, begins its liturgical year with four weeks to remind all Christians to STAY AWAKE!
BE READY! The Apostles who witnessed Jesus ascending into heaven thought his return, his second coming, to eminent; perhaps a week or a few months, but soon. Today, we as a Catholic Church and members of the Christian community worldwide still wait. For more
than 2,000 years we have waited.
Advent provides the opportunity for all Christians to examine the question: What do I want to be doing when Jesus comes again? Not because we fear being “caught” doing something unchristian, rather because we truly love God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If we are living in love, caring for our brothers and sisters the world over, we will welcome Jesus Christ with open arms.
Let us all take time this Advent to be grateful for the gift of God Incarnate. Emanuel; God with us, for indeed Jesus is here with us in the presence of those with whom we share life; family, friend and stranger. Let us pray that we might grow in kindness and love toward one another as we await His Second Coming.
Have a Blessed Advent!
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC