Advent offers everyone the chance to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s Birth on Christmas. It is a time of hope and anticipation that is often confused with the secular notions of the Holiday season. For us in the Catholic Church, it is a special because Advent marks the beginning of our liturgical year…essentially our New Year’s celebration of our faith. Clearly the season has different signs and symbols that clearly show that Advent is a preparatory and transitional time. The Church garbs it’s liturgical celebration in various hues of purple. The traditional Advent wreath is place in our sacred spaces,three purple candles and one pink candle mark the chronological journey of this quasi-penitential period in harmony with the sacred preparations to welcome the Son of God on Christmas Day.
Usually, most of us get distracted from the true reason for the season to capture a popular phrase. We forget that the secular expectations are far different from the spiritual preparations for which this season exists. Our scriptural reading reflect our spiritual preparatory anticipation for the coming of Jesus in His Incarnation.
This year, why don’t we all prayerfully reflect on the need to prepare for the Holy in our lives.
One method is to start celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours. The Prayer of the Church is celebrated multiple times throughout the day, throughout the entire world for the intentions of the People of God. In addition to remembering the intentions of all Catholics, the psalms prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours inspires us to deeply immerse our entire physical and spiritual beings into a restored union with God and each other.They also offer an opportunity to appreciate the sacred time Advent offers as an chance to recharge our relationships with God, each other and the entire Church.
Advent is sacred time! Advent is, "Time outside of Time!" Advent is a spiritually enriched time to prepare for the Messiah. Take advantage of the chance to celebrate the New Year of the Catholic Church, the majesty of the Incarnation and the opportunity to revitalize every aspect of our ancient faith. Take this preparatory period to reflect on what truly is important to the human condition, cast off the shackles of secular burdens and celebrate Jesus Christ in all of our hearts,homes and communities of faith.
The ancient Catholic Church was convinced that the return of Jesus Christ was coming soon. They prayed, "Come Lord Jesus!" as an invocation for the Lord to deliver them from the world.
Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus should be our prayer as we anticipate the celebration of Christmas as Jesus’ birth!