First Sunday of Advent Year C
Well here we are at the start of the Advent season and the new liturgical year. In our Churches on this Sunday we light the first candle on the Advent Wreath and put the first leaves on the Jesse Tree. Advent like Lent is a time of preparation of body mind and spirit though it is a good bit easier than the six weeks of Lent for so many reasons. The word ADVENT comes from the Latin and it means coming and that is what advent is about the coming of Jesus into the world. Yet with all the flurry and hurry of December it can be so easy for us to lose the short time that we might have during each day to pray and listen to what god is saying to each of us.
The Scriptures of Advent open this year with an appeal for justice and security. Our society longs for a better life the same way ancient Israel and Judah did. We long for safety within our borders. We long for leaders of blameless conduct. We long for these blessings to last.
During Advent we want to see the fulfilment of God’s promises. God promised peace. God promised safety. God promised good leaders.God promised food, drink, and strength. During Advent we anticipate the fulfilment of God’s main promise: salvation. We await the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus, whose name means Saviour and whose mission brought redemption. God gives us a different grace in every liturgical season and God has a grace to give you and me this Advent. If Advent is only a time of consumerism and buying gifts for people that they don’t really want or need, it is flying in the face of what Jesus is all about. There is only one gift at Christmas, that gift is Jesus. Jesus is the grace that the Father wants to give to us this Advent. Let us spend time with God to receive this grace. As we examine our consciences this Advent and see our shortcomings we are privileged to receive the mercy of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When Jesus was entering Jerusalem for the last time he cried because the people of Jerusalem did not recognize the time of their visitation (Luke 19:41-42). Let us not miss out on the grace God is offering us this Advent and remember when we get to our Christmas Celebrations that Jesus is the reason for the Season.