The word “Advent” means arrival. Each year the Church sets aside a special four week period for us to prepare well for the arrival of the Lord Jesus at Christmas. The traditional color of Advent is purple which symbolizes the penitential spirit. Through prayer and service we prepare for God’s arrival. Seeking to keep proper perspective, we often make use of other symbols in church and at home including the advent wreath, advent candles, advent calendars and the nativity scene (or “crèche”).
In the First Reading we hear Israel’s anticipation for the glorious day when God will fulfill His word of salvation for them. God always remains faithful to the covenant He has forged with His People. Divine fidelity is witnessed in God’s relentless pursuit of those who have lost their way so that He might bring them to their senses.
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
In the Gospel Reading we learn about the connection between two divine arrivals. Fhe first arrival of Christ – Christmas – and the last coming of Christ – humanity’s final judgment – are rightly viewed together. The time between Christmas and the Last Judgment is God’s mercy granted us to so that we will make up our minds. Many will say “yes” to God, even though there seems to be an increasing number of people in our day and age who say otherwise. During our time of testing, the instructions of Our Lord are crystal clear: watch, be vigilant and pray.