Advent: The Reason for the Season

The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is twofold: 1) a preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent; 2) the anticipation of the return of Christ the King. Advent helps us to reflect on the mystery of how God, in his divine providence, prepared the entire human race for salvation through God’s gradual revelation of Christ, born in history of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As we prepare to remember this event, we relive that history and prepare ourselves spiritually. We relive in expectation of the birth of our Savior. The Advent days help to prepare us spiritually for the coming of Christ.

Thus, Advent is a spiritual journey that we as Christians take, through the truths of Scripture that point to the birth of the Messiah. The themes we will meet during the four weeks of Advent are: Hope, Peace, Joy and God’s love for his people. The readings of Advent in a special way prepare us for the journey towards Christmas. On the first Sunday of Advent the Gospel from Mark underlines watching and waiting. The Second Sunday of Advent the gospel will draw our attention to the preaching and ministry of John the Baptist who came to "Prepare the Way of the Lord."  On the Third Sunday, (Laetare Sunday), the Gospel from John will speak about John the Baptist as being a witness to the light, while the first and second readings convey the joy that Christians feel with the increasing closeness of the nativity and our salvation. On the Fourth Sunday, the Gospel from Luke will focus our attention on the Annunciation to Mary, who by her saying “Yes” to God, the Savoir comes into the world.

 

May you have a blessed and fruitful Advent journey. 

Msgr. John S. Mbinda