“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
In our Catholic tradition we consider Advent to be a time of fasting, prayer, and penitence. To modern ears that seems weird. Isn’t the whole Advent season about getting ready for Christmas? After all, this isn’t Lent.
Liturgically, Advent may look penitential (at least in some parishes priests use violet vestments). In our parish we use blue vestments, a valid liturgical color in our Church. This more clearly distinguishes Advent from Lent. We focus on the expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and on our own expectation of Christmas, Jesus’ first coming. We also use Advent to focus on the end of the world, Jesus’ triumphant return. Thus the need for readiness. Advent is indeed a period of devout and expectant preparation, getting ready, and does have a penitential character. We all need to take ongoing sanctification (becoming more Christ-like) seriously and both Advent and Lent call this to mind in a very focused way. As Lent is a preparation for the awesome celebration of the Resurrection, so Advent is preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and return.
We are to spend Advent reflecting on the areas of our spiritual and material lives where we fall short in living up to the standards Jesus set for us; working diligently so we are ready for the Bridegroom’s return. We should not loose the opportunity of Advent, but rather take advantage of it. Throughout Advent, like in Lent, we should be focused on prayer, scriptural reading, works of charity, all part of personal growth as we await Jesus return. We should take time to fast and pray so that Jesus might find us ready to meet Him each day and upon His return.
This Advent we focus on the Promises of God, promises that are guaranteed. We will take steps together to grow in Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Come to church on November 28th for your free book and let us prepare together.
Welcome to our November 2021 Newsletter. Much to read and consider including our schedule for the month, our entry into Advent at the end of the month (free gift included), the return of daily Holy Mass to the parish life, parish history documented, the month of All Souls, our clothing and food drives assisting those in need locally, our discipleship lesson, a prayer for Thanksgiving, a short report out on the clergy conference, and a retrospective on our centennial celebration. That and much more awaits you.
Check out all this and more in our November 2021 Newsletter.