We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again! 9

First Sunday of Advent Reflection

Image from the Deacon's Bench: Click on image to read his homily for today

Image from the Deacon’s Bench: Click on image to read his homily for today

A friend asked me the other day why the Church no longer regards Advent as a penitential season, like Lent. “It still is a penitential season,” I told him, “but the focus of Advent is different than the focus of Lent.”

The obvious focus of Advent is our preparation for our Savior’s coming. The focus we tend to overlook is that of our Savior’s coming again, as he foretold in the Gospel we read today to start off the Advent season.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The Church’s liturgical year commemorates Jesus’ life on earth and the Paschal Mystery in its fullness in each annual cycle. In every Mass, we do the same, through the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist.

Advent invites us to recall three comings of Christ: 1) His birth in Bethlehem; 2) His coming to us anew in every Eucharistic celebration; 3) His coming again at the end of this earthly age.

The passage from today’s Gospel reading invites us to “not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life,” and to “be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength…”

The strength to bow humbly before the King, just as the worldly kings bowed their heads when they entered the lowly cave in Bethlehem.

The focus of Advent is not reparation, but preparation, vigilance, and hope, so that when Christmas finally comes, we are filled with peace and joy, not vexed with stress and anxiety. The mystery we contemplate in this season, like all mysteries of Christ’s life, is assumed in the Mystery of Mysteries — The Eucharist — the Mystery of Faith:

We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again!

They shall all be taught by God — Isaiah 54:13

You might also enjoy…

  • Father Barron’s reflection on the Spirituality of Advent:

9 comments

  1. Pingback: Doctor’s Orders — Rest « Catholibertarian

  2. Thanks for this post, and all the information on Advent. I have found it difficult to explain it precisely to others, which means that I am not too clear on what it is all about myself. You’ve been a big help!

    • Advent is the most beautiful liturgically and spiritually, and it’s the season most of us miss. One of the things I love about social media is its ability to bring these messages to more people who are thirsting for the truth. On that note, thank God for Fr Barron and what he does.

      Thanks, JTR, and God bless!

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