ADVENT is a season of waiting, of reflection, of stillness and of expectation. The dwindling daylight sets the stage for this longing, and we use that image in our liturgy. Having just celebrated the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, which brought the liturgical cycle to an end with a view of the “end times”, we continue that same view of the “end times”, but now from the perspective of awaiting the coming of Christ: as the infant of Bethlehem and in his promised return. This is why the readings focus on both John the Baptist’s proclamation of Jesus and Jesus’s parables of the coming Bridegroom. As we wait in these colder and darker days of the year, we look for the light of the coming Messiah and the warmth of the fulness of the kingdom of God.
A visible sign of the Advent Season is the ADVENT WREATH, the circle of greens with four candles which represent our journey through the four weeks of the season. We light an additional candle each week to remind us that it is Christ, whose birth we prepare to celebrate and whose return we await, who dispels the darkness in our lives.
A concrete action for the Advent Season is preparing our hearts and souls for this Christmas celebration through a reception of the SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION in confession. Individual confession or the celebration of one of our regional Advent Penance Services are available. Celebrate and use this great Season of Grace well.