|Welcome to Advent|
|Wednesday, 05 December 2007 06:06|
Written by Keith Strohm
This past Sunday, the Church celebrated the beginning of Advent, that period of expectant waiting for the birth of the Christ child. One of the things I love about being Catholic is the pulse of liturgical rhythms that beat throughout the year. All of time has been redeemed, and we acknowledge this by setting aside the recurring moments of the calendar year (this chronos time) and entering into what the Lord has prepared for us, what the ancients called kairos time--a period where the eternal enters into our finite experience. I would also call this Sacramental time.
In this season of waiting, we are called (as a People and as individual members of that People) to prepare our own hearts for the birth of Christ so that He might be born anew in us. It is a season of intentional reflection upon the great gift of our salvation and redemption, and a time when we can deepen our committment to follow Christ and become more like Him, so that, as Mary, the very model of all Discipleship, our whole being can become impregnated with the Word of God--this Jesus for whom all of Creation waited.
The word "advent" (which means "coming") is the latin version of the greek word "parousia," which many of us hear in relationship to the Second Coming of Christ. And so, in this Advent season, we are called not only to reflect on and celebrate the Mystery of the Incarnation and the coming of Christ that occurred in the past, as well as prepare ourselves for the birth of Christ in our hearts, but we must also be aware and celebrate the reality of His Second Coming, when the fullness of the Kingdom of God will be made manifest, realizing that ulimately our destinly lies with the eternal, living One.
May this sacred season bring you much grace and joy, and may we all celebrate it with integrity and intentionality.