First Sunday of Advent
Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the day we embark on our journey of preparation and anticipation for the coming of the Lord. Did you know that Advent is broken into two parts? The first part runs from today until the 16th of December. During this time, our focus is drawn to Christ’s coming again in glory at the end of time. When we enter the second portion of Advent, Dec 17th to the 24th, we anticipate the coming of Christ as an infant in a lowly stable. Typically, you’ll see these themes explored in the Gospel readings for each of the Sundays in Advent. You’ll also note that they resemble the 4 traditional themes for each candle of the Advent Wreathe: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
Our Gospel reading today really draws us deeper in to the three-fold coming of Christ. During advent, It is may be too easy to follow into the trap of only anticipating Christ’s arrival in the stable. Yes, we do use this time to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Incarnation, but we must also remember that we all hope for the coming of Christ at the end of time. Our first and second readings contextualize for us what Christ is speaking about in the Gospel – the end of the world. Perhaps what he speaks about is not so hard to imagine after two brutal years through the pandemic: Distress among the nations, a sense of foreboding of what is coming upon the world. But then we realize – hope!
With a quiet and joyful anticipation we hope to see our Lord present to us. Not only at the end of time, or in that stable some 2000+ years ago, but present to us in the Eucharist at Mass. As we begin our Advent journey, let us pray that our hopes become realities.Many blessings on a hopeful, peaceful, joyful, and love-filled Advent!