One of the things I love about being Catholic is the myriads of knowledge and riches which our Church holds for us. I am always learning new things. This week for example, marks the beginning of a new Liturgical cycle. We are now officially in Cycle “C” in our readings. It is also the beginning of Advent. The word ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin ‘Adventus’ which means ‘Coming’. It encompasses the time when we are to prepare ourselves for the “Advent” of our Lord. Now here is something very cool. Did you know that there are three things that we are to do during this time?
-Prepare ourselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s coming into the world as the incarnate God of love.
-Make our souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through His grace.
-Make ourselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.
This explains today’s readings and the prophecies of our blessed Lord’s second coming. Advent began to be celebrated in the late 4th century and as a result many cool traditions were developed to help us enter in to this time. The Advent Wreath is a symbol that is popular. It is round to symbolize the eternity of God and has four candles, one for each week of advent, to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. Another tradition is that of the Jesse Tree. This was named for David’s father and involves a small tree in which symbols or pictures of Bible characters are placed on all telling different stories that lead to the birth of our Lord. Finally, there are Advent Calendars. These usually run the month of December, and many have little doors or drawers that children open and find different things inside, all designed to share the story of Jesus with our young ones. So, this week take some time to prepare yourself. Set up a wreath or a calendar or maybe even a Jesse tree. Start a new tradition and experience this advent as never before. Something to think about…Oh yeah, Happy Advent to all…May God richly bless you always…