I begin this writing and to greet to all the Catholics around the world “A Happy New Year!”
The ORDO 2009 book which contains liturgical readings and readings of the Divine Office ended last Saturday, November 28, 2009. I bought the new ORDO for 2010 at the Catholic Book Center in Intramuros, Manila last August.
We are now on the season of Advent, the season of waiting hope. Advent is the “first season” of every liturgical year. From the Latin “adventus” means both “coming” and “expectation.” The period of Advent starts either the end of November or the beginning of December and ends on December 24 or Christmas eve. It includes four Sundays and divides into two parts: the first goes from the beginning up to December 16. The second part stretches from December 17 to 24.
In the first part, we focus on Christ’s Second Coming, with its consequent appeal to watchfulness and converstion. On the seond part, we relive the expectation of the people of Israel and the whole of mankind for the coming of the “Messiah,” the universal Savior promised by the Almighty God through the prophets.
Advent, thus, is like the season of Lent to repent our sins. If we remember John the Baptist, the cousin and precursor of Christ, said: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ ” (Matthew 3:2-3, NRSV).
John the Baptist is our main guide/example during the first period with his emphasis on conversion. In the second period, Mary Most Holy, with the example of openness to God and availability to cooperate actively in the fulfillment of His plan.
We are on the season of hope, my dear bloggers. We faced ferocious typhoons struck in the Philippines. Other countries experienced tsunamis, earthquakes and such disasters in this world. We focus in God, because He is our hope and righteous.
Advent is not just for “external” preparation to decorate lanterns, Christmas decors, send greetings, and exchange gifts. Our internal preparation during Advent needs to repent for the salvation and be watchful in prayer on the Second Coming of Christ. My invitation to all who read this blog “be watchful” in faith and prayer, in humble openness and total availability to welcome and serve Christ even the most unlikely or unexpected persons and events.
Let us wake up from the cares of this world and be focus on the unseen things which our hope is eternal (II Corinthians 4:18).
God bless you all this season of Advent!