OK, it is a Happy Liturgical Calendar New Year, but that wouldn’t fit in the headline! The first Sunday of Advent, when we start the new liturgical year in the Church. We see a change in colors around the Cathedral, St. Aloysius, and Old St. Mary’s. We break out the Advent wreath and candles. The celebration of the Mass takes on a slightly different look. Readings take on a different tone. All these changes correspond to our preparing for celebrating the birth of our Savior.
Within society we see changes too. Any Halloween and Thanksgiving merchandise remaining on the shelves is heavily discounted to make room for more Christmas merchandise – some of which has been in the stores since August. Decorations are pulled from storage and get placed around the home, some homes with more, many with less. Some families look forward to the season, others may not because of losses of one kind or another – family member, job, health. This will be the “First” Christmas for many – First Christmas as husband and wife, Baby’s First Christmas, First Christmas in a new house, First Christmas without a parent, a spouse, or a child.
Our reading this weekend are about preparation, not so much about preparing for Christmas exactly, but preparing for the second coming of Jesus. In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples how those in the day of Noah went about their normal routines up until the rains started falling. They didn’t have the benefit Noah had of knowing what was to happen. We are fortunate to hear from our Lord himself and from St. Paul that the second coming of Christ is ahead of us. We can be certain that he is coming. What we don’t know exactly is when, but the fact that we know Jesus is coming again means we know we should live a Christian life of readiness. To aid in our Christian life of readiness, our Family of Parishes has several special events lined up during Advent. Consider making a Liturgical New Year’s Resolution to attend one or more of these in addition to regular attendance at Mass. You can see the list on this page.
In the peace of Christ,