1st Sunday of Advent                                                                                                                        

Dear friends in Christ,


                  Today we begin a new Church year. The Church begin its new year with the Advent Season. Advent means to long, to believe, to expect, and to hope for something. Advent or waiting can be either passive or active. Passive waiting means we do nothing but standing there anxiously watching for someone to show up or something to happen. In active waiting, like waiting for a dear friend, we keep busy making sure all is ready for a good and joyful welcome. Advent is the time of waiting for Jesus, our most loved friend, a time of commitment of our lives in order to grow and prepare him the most fitting welcome.

In Jesus’ words, Advent means, “Be on guard! Stay awake!” These words seem to say we should take control of ourselves. In reality, this is a call to abandon the control we always want to have over our lives. Advent is a time to be aware of our imperfection, our weakness and sin, caused by the wrong directions we take when we are “on our own.” Therefore, to be “awake” or “watchful” means to be ready to surrender to Jesus, to hear his voice and to do his will; it means to keep our hearts in union with Jesus’ heart, our desires with his desires, and our wills with his will. 

Unlike waiting for other friends, our waiting for Christ is unique. We are not without Jesus as we await him, for he promises to be with us always: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” If we live in expectation and preparation for the coming of Christ daily, we will certainly have a merry Christmas now and a happy eternity later.

Longing for Christ’s coming into our lives at every moment should be the focus of our Advent preparations. Christian life is a season of Advent. Our best daily prayer is: “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Fr. Joe