THE PASTOR’S NOTE
Welcome to Advent! We often confuse Advent with Lent; they are both standalone seasons that have their own flavour and focus.
Advent is a short four Sunday season that focuses us on the two comings of Christ; his coming in his birth in Bethlehem and the promise of his coming at the end of time.
As Christians we are people who live in between these two comings, conscious that the Lord lives in our midst among us in this period of time.
Advent reminds us of the hope that we Christians have as we look forward to Christ’s final coming; this will be nothing less than the fulfilment of the reign of God.
A good way to move through Advent would be to tune into the scriptures of the season. Any reflective reading will open up for us, the mood of Advent. The biblical writings will put us in touch with key words, they’re all worthy of our thought, prayer and contemplation.
Some of the key words you will find are; sing, leap, be with child, stay awake, bloom, stand up straight, made low, be strong, be opened, burn, spring, look down, withered, clear, rescue, walk, overshadow, waiting.
Strung together these words can help us to live Advent.
Advent is divided into two parts:
The first from the First Sunday to 16 December when we focus on Christ’s second coming at the end of the time. During this period the great prophet Isaiah holds centre stage.
The second part is from 17 December to 24 December preparing us for the birth of Jesus Christ. Here John the Baptist and Mary of Nazareth take centre stage.
The whole of Advent should strengthen in our lives the great longings that Jesus had for us all – peace, justice and unity.
Some of the key Scripture readings that you may find helpful could be
Isaiah 2: 1-5
Isaiah 35 : 1-10
Luke 1: 26-38
Wishing you all a fruitful Advent that will bring us to the peace and joy of Christmas.
Monsignor Paul Farmer