Happy pentitential season of Advent!
You must be thinking that having “penitential season” sandwiched inbetween “Happy” and “Advent” is an oxymoron. However, that is what Advent is – penitential. It is like a “mini Lent”.Unlike the solemn heaviness and focus on the Passion and cross, Advent is a more joyful penitence as we wait for Christ’s Second Coming. (If the thought of Christ’s Second Coming is the opposite of joyful for you then all the more reason to take advantage of this Advent season).
During Advent we are to prepare outselves for Christ’s Second Coming. Listen to the readings, it is from Revelation and St. John the Baptist, encouraging us to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. Advent is NOT a time to prepare for the birth of the Christchild. That has already passed. Yes, we celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas, but Advent we are preparing for the Second Coming of Christ, when He will come to judge the living and the dead at the final judgement.
Sadly, the preparation time during Advent is often lost in today’s culture. Christmas music, parties (which are Advent parties since they take place before Christmas) and decorating our homes are often done during Advent (or even before Advent starts!). We, as a whole, have lost this sense of anticipation, waiting and preparing.
No wonder that by the time Christmas comes the next day or so people are tired of hearing Christmas music and start taking down their decorations. Christmas starts after Christmas Eve Mass and ends on the Ephany on Janurary 6th.
Let’s use this joyful pentitential time to prepare our souls for the coming of Christ. Wait to put up your tree and decorations until Christmas eve (it is also more exciting for adults and kids because of the long wait and anticipation).
Rediscover Advent this season.
Here is a great video that encourages us to rediscover Advent and the challenges of the season:
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