The Season of Advent begins our liturgical year. Every year we begin by blessing the Advent Wreath, and lighting the ﬁrst candle, then one after another each week as we move closer towards Christmas. Every year, however, it seems like Advent loses its’ meaning more and more. With the commercialization of Christmas, we may easily forget about that time of special preparation and awaiting which culminates on the night of Jesus’ birth. So, what exactly is Advent about?
First, Advent is all about the “eschatological tension” that is part of our faith experience. It simply means that we live between the “already” and the “not yet”. Christ is already in our midst, but His glory and power are not fully realized yet, meaning that we continue to expect more from this life, and the life to come. This tension is the foundation of our actions that lead to transforming our lives, and the lives of others. The Church’s entire social teaching, care for creation, and call to renewal come from that very tension that expands our horizons, and helps us to bring God’s justice into the world.
Secondly, Advent is the time of preparation and awaiting. Together with Mary, we await the fulﬁllment of God’s promise to send us the Redeemer in the person of Jesus. It is not a passive awaiting though. It is ﬁlled with prayer, work, worship, and action, which are expressed in Mary’s Magniﬁcat Prayer, as well as in her visit with Elizabeth. That is why it is a perfect time to once again to recommit ourselves to prayer, and the works of mercy in imitation of Our Blessed Mother.
As we enter this sacred season, let us make an eﬀort to nurture our minds and hearts with God’s love and truth. May our preparation and awaiting for Christmas, be marked by the eschatological tension that invites us to expect more from the world and ourselves.
Our Lady of Humility and St. Patrick Parish