Advent is here!!! It’s my favorite season of the Church’s liturgical year primarily because it almost demands a countercultural life to how the world around us has already embraced
these days as if the festival of Christmas is already here. Last time I checked, the celebration of Christ’s birth is on December 25. Even in families expecting the birth of a child, the celebrations of the birth don’t happen until after it happens!!! Then, there’s unbridled joy that God has given the gift of life!
Advent has so much to offer us in the development of our Christian spirituality and relationship with the Lord. Advent wreaths and the Jesse Tree can be great ways to allow our children
to learn about the anticipation of the coming of the Messiah from the Old Testament. An Advent calendar can involve all in the home with the countdown to Christmas Day.An old world custom of setting up the Nativity Scene (without the Baby Jesus, yet!) on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, is a nice way of heightening the anticipation of what we celebrate as Christians on December 25.
Another aspect of Advent that I particularly love is the Church’s hymnody. Look at our Worship hymnal from numbers
386 through 412. These are some marvelous resources to understand the beauty of Advent, yet we only have four Sundays to sing them. Such a pity!!! And this year we have the shortest
Advent season possible – only 22 days, with the Fourth Sunday of Advent also being Christmas Eve!
So use these three weeks of Advent wisely, and allow its message of joyful preparation and anticipation to lead you to a deeper relationship with the God who loves us so immensely.