WORSHIP TIMES

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Fr. Anthony's Message

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

What does Advent mean?

It is Advent! As we enter this festive season, it is probably good for us to understand what the Advent season celebrates. Let's start with what the word Advent means. The word Advent comes from the Latin, adventus, which means coming or arrival. An expanded definition of the word Advent reads, that Advent is the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. The word Advent from the Latin also translates the Greek word Parousia which refers to the second coming of Jesus Christ. From the Greek Parousia refers to the visit of the king and the preparations that needed to be made in getting ready for the coming  of  the  king. That is a fitting description of the Season. Jesus is the notable person, and the event is the coming of the Lord and the dawning of salvation. He is the king for whom we are getting ready for in His Parousia, second coming and the celebration when He first came into the word at His birth.

The definition goes on to give synonyms for the word such as  arrival, appearance, emergence, materialization, occurrence, dawn, birth, rise, development, approach and coming. Then it goes onto say that Advent is the first season of the Christian Liturgical Calendar year which leads to celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the Christmas Season. As we begin Advent today, we celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the three other Sundays which will follow will unfold the for the promise.

The twofold meaning for the coming of Jesus in the Advent Season the second coming of Christ and the celebration when He first came, are highlighted each week of the Advent season. The first two Sundays of Advent focus on the second coming of Jesus Christ in the fullness of his glory. The second meaning for Advent is the incarnation, the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ which is the focus of weeks Three and Four of Advent season. We are all awaiting the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and we always look forward to celebrating when Jesus first came into the world at his birth. After all, one of the words which is synonymous with Advent is coming. That is why we hear in today's Gospel from Mark 13:33-37; "Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come." Jesus uses the parable of the absent householder to help us understand that we should always be alert and ready. Just because the householder is not present does not mean the work should not be getting done. Waiting does not mean being idle, rather while we are waiting, we should be busy doing the Lord's work. Jesus goes onto say that the householder before leaving puts each servant in charge of his own work.

What does that work consist of? St. Paul tells us in the Second Reading from I Corinthians 1:3-9, " I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in Him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ." The work we are to busy ourselves with are described by the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Gifts of the Spirit are, Wisdom, Knowledge, Right Judgement, Respectful God, Wonder and Awe. and the fruits of the Holy  Spirit are, Charity,  Joy Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and Chastity. The gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit describe well the meaning of the Advent Season.

As St. Paul says in the Second Reading, we are awaiting the revelation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, wisdom and knowledge is needed. That requires educating ourselves in the ways of our faith. That is the work the Lord has given us. We are to approach this work with charity, patience, hope, joy, love, and peace. These are the themes of the Advent Season and this is the work Jesus has given us as we await His return.

So Advent means, to be a people who are awaiting the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the fullness of his glory and in our waiting for His return we have been given work which requires wisdom and knowledge along with a spirit of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love lived out with Charity and Patience.

 

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Anthony