Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Advent is coming

This Sunday, December 2, is the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year. Advent is a season of preparation and anticipation, as we wait for the celebration of Jesus' birth on Christmas, as well as for His second coming. I've never observed Advent very seriously in the past, but I'm hoping it will be a season of growth and reflection for me this year. It looks like has some decent ideas for the Advent season. Anyway, here are a few paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church that are relevant to Advent:

"The coming of God's Son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ: all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the 'First Covenant'. He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel. Moreover, he awakens in the hearts of the pagans a dim expectation of this coming.

"St. John the Baptist is the Lord's immediate precursor or forerunner, sent to prepare his way. 'Prophet of the Most High', John surpasses all the prophets, of whom he is the last. He inaugurates the Gospel, already from his mother's womb welcomes the coming of Christ, and rejoices in being 'the friend of the bridegroom', whom he points out as 'the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world'. Going before Jesus 'in the spirit and power of Elijah', John bears witness to Christ in his preaching, by his Baptism of conversion, and through his martyrdom.

"When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviour's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor's birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: 'He must increase, but I must decrease.'" (CCC 522-524)

P.S. I am the king of inadvertent plays on words. The word Advent basically means "coming," but I did not have that in mind when I titled this post. I've never been a fan of puns and such, so maybe my subconscious makes me use them without realizing it sometimes just to mess with me.

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