On this First Sunday of Advent we begin a new liturgical year. Over the next twelve months until the feast of Christ the King, we will once again enter into the power of Christ’s Paschal Mystery. That is, Christ’s coming into the world through his Incarnation, his mission and ministry, his death on the cross and glorious Resurrection, the formation of the Christian community and the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Each of these aspects of Jesus’ earthly life continues to be made fully present to us through our participation in the liturgical year.
We begin this new liturgical year with the season of Advent, a season that urges us to enter into the powerful experience of waiting, to watch and awake! So easily are we influenced by the sights, sounds, noises and messages of the aggressive world in which we live, that we are continually bombarded by the emptiness of every ‘thing’ that is not Christian. Such exposure will eventually shape our overall identity – our thoughts, beliefs, goals, etc. I encourage us all to stand against this ferocious tide that is sweeping over us and to enter into the saving grace that the liturgical year promises.
The wisdom of Advent makes way for a renewed encounter with Jesus who never ceases to find us. Allow your homes and your inner spirituality, therefore, to be one with the Church’s liturgical life. Make the Advent Wreath the centre piece of your home’s decor this season. Throughout the four weeks of Advent, allow the deliberate act of lighting each candle to shine the brightness of Jesus more perfectly into your life as we draw closer to the great feast of the Incarnation at Christmas, preparing ourselves to readily accept a rebirthing of Christ’s presence into our lives.