This Sunday is, in essence, “new year’s day” on the church’s liturgical (worship) calendar. The season of Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas, begins. Note, Advent is the season of preparation—not the beginning of the season of Christmas. While we are bombarded with ads telling us the Christmas season has begun, it’s not so, according to the church.
Something as important as Christmas needs preparation. Advent is a time for patience, for waiting, for anticipation, for expectancy. Advent, like Lent, is a time for repentance, a scary word for some.....but repentance is about turning from those attitudes and actions that separate us from God, from those things that might make us miss Christ’s coming, to prepare ourselves for that coming. We might clean house to get ready for company to come.....repentance is cleaning our spiritual house to prepare for none other than Christ.
We’ll begin Advent at the wreath lighting Sunday with prophet’s yearning cry for God to “tear open the heavens and come down.” And we’ll see how God chose a poor, young, peasant girl to fulfill the hopes and yearnings in a way no one would ever have expected.
Confronted with God’s coming to her, Mary opened herself to God’s possibilities. May we be so courageous and faithful in this holy season.
See You Sunday on the Advent Journey,