Dec 4, 2013
There is no time quite like Advent. This liturgical season is rich in symbol and exalted in sacred poetry and music. Advent signals “a new journey of the People of God with Jesus, our Shepherd, who guides us through history toward the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. Through Advent, we experience a profound sense of the meaning of history” (Pope Francis, Homily, First Sunday of Advent).
The period from December 1st to December 16th recalls Christ’s historic coming at the Incarnation and at the Parousia to fulfill the divine plan. December 17th to December 24th celebrates the prophecies of the Lord’s coming and his birth of the Virgin-Mother. During the Advent season, purple vestments are worn by the priest, and the color rose, on the Third Sunday (Gaudete [Rejoice] Sunday). Throughout these day, “Come, Lord Jesus, come” is the phrase on the Church’s lips. The short four-week season is filled with hope that satisfied by the advent of the Lord.
The fall season is about to end. The trees are bare. As the days grow shorter and the darkness of the long winter nights set in, Advent prompts reflection on the Light who graced the darkness. During Advent, “we rediscover the beauty of all being on a journey: the Church, with her vocation and mission, and the whole of humanity, nations, civilizations, cultures, all on a journey along the paths of time” (Pope Francis). Christ is the Light in the tunnel and at the end of the tunnel. Awaiting the Incarnate birth—this single, solitary event calls for silent wonder.