From The Pastor’s Desk

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Today we begin the holy season of advent, a season of hope, joy and expectation! A time to prepare for the great feast of Christmas, the birthday of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Unlike the civil calendar, the Church begins the new liturgical year with the first Sunday of Advent.
Even though we are in a celebratory mood in preparation for Christmas, you will notice the priest wearing purple vestment during Advent. Historically, Advent was indeed a time of penance, preparation, and sacrifice, and the season was known as a “little Lent.” That’s why the penitential color of purple is very apt during Advent. The Gloria—one of the most festive hymns of the Mass isn’t sung during Advent. These visible signs highlight the penitential nature of Advent and reminds us that, during Advent, the Christmas season hasn’t started yet. We are to spend this time preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ, both at Christmas and at the Second Coming.
The Church prepares us for the celebration of Christmas through specially chosen readings through the season of Advent. On this first Sunday, the readings highlight the exhortation of Jesus to us, to be prepared and to stay awake for the coming of the Lord. The passage of the Gospel (cf. (Mt 24:37-44) introduces us to one of the most evocative themes of Advent: the visit of the Lord to humanity.
The first visit — we all know — occurred with the Incarnation, Jesus’ birth in the cave of Bethlehem. The second visit takes place in the present: the Lord visits us constantly, each day, walking alongside us and being a consoling presence. In the end, there will be the third and last visit, which we proclaim each time that we recite the Creed: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead”. Today, the Lord speaks to us about this final visit, which will take place at the end of time, and he tells us where we will arrive on our journey.
May this advent season enable us to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord, even as we encounter Him daily in the Holy Eucharist and recognize His living presence with us! Together with the early Christians, let us earnestly pray: “Maranatha” – Come, Lord! during this holy season!

United with you in prayer,
Fr. Joy Jacob, SDB