Advent Reflections: The Introduction
As always, the Church begins a new year with the start of the season of Advent. While much of the world starts a new year on January 1, for the Church, the new year begins earlier. This year the new year begins on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27. Some parts of Advent are familiar: the Advent wreath, Advent calendars, and the colors purple and pink. But what is this season all about?
Well, there are really two aspects to the season. First, there is the sense of anticipation and preparation. But this is not a preparation for Christmas, but a preparation designed to focus our attention on the Second Coming of Jesus. Second, there is our recalling the miraculous Incarnation, which is the celebration of Christmas.
The season is, then, about the beginning of the Messiah’s arrival on earth and the end of time when Jesus returns in all his glory in his Second Coming. So the season is an interplay between the “already here” (the arrival of Jesus) and the “not yet fully realized” (the Second Coming of Jesus).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this: “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor’s birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (524)
There are also liturgical changes we will see. Many churches have an Advent wreath. People will notice the priest wearing purple vestments (or violet if you prefer). The one exception to purple vestments may be Gaudete Sunday (the third Sunday of Advent), when the priest wears pink (or rose if you prefer). Gaudete Sunday is why one of the candles on the wreath is pink. It is also the case that the Gloria is not said. Gaudete is the imperative form of the verb, to rejoice, and so Gaudete Sunday is Rejoice Sunday.
The Season of Advent is a special time where the celebration of the Sacrament of Confession is made more available. Many parishes have communal celebrations with the chance to celebrate the sacrament individually. This serves as a reminder that preparing our soul is the best way to prepare for the coming of Jesus.
The Friar is focusing on four actions: pray, prepare, watch and act. There will be ways on this website to find more information about how to do each. In terms of praying, preparing and watching, one thing is below. Once again, we are making available reflections written by educators and students.
Each day during the season of Advent there will be posted a reflection written by the students, faculty, or staff at Christian Brothers College High School. Go to the CBC web page, cbchs.org for each day’s reflection. If you would like to listen to an audio podcast of each reflection, visit thefriar.org. Have a happy Advent!
The first reflection will be posted close to the first Sunday of Advent.
November 27, 2022 Two Questions: Who Is God? Who Am I?
November 28, 2022 Absolute Trust in God or Freak Out
November 29, 2022 The Powerful Lessons of Second Grade
November 30, 2022 A Simple Lesson
December 1, 2022 What to do when things feel like they are all crashing down
December 2, 2022 Gloom and Darkness: Can Things Get Better?
December 3, 2022 Lost and alone: Sometimes that is the best place to start
December 4, 2022 Tying it all together
December 5, 2022 Faith does not spring from the miracle but the miracle from faith
December 6, 2022 Making Room for the Reckless Love of God
December 7, 2022 To whom can you liken me as an equal?
December 8, 2022 The Immaculate Conception is also about Us
December 9, 2022 Are you smarter than God?
December 10, 2022 Sometimes the strange are prophetic
December 11, 2022 How to be prepared
December 12, 2022 An ordinary person becomes God’s messenger
December 13, 2022 The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor
December 14, 2022 The place of the Cross in the Life of a Christian
December 15, 2022 Rescued by the Lord
December 16, 2022 Rejoice: Your Salvation is about to come
December 17, 2022 The Importance of King David
December 18, 2022 Do You Like What You See?
December 19, 2022 God Can Never Be Outdone
December 20, 2022 How can this be?
December 21, 2022 God just can’t wait
December 22, 2022 My heart exults
December 23, 2022 What are you expecting?
December 24, 2022 Blessed Be the Lord
Below is the list of all of the reflections from Advent 2021: