Advent, Parts I and II

Everybody know that the season of Advent has two parts? Today we complete the first part.

We have prayed and read Scripture passages about the coming of Christ considered as a whole.

In other words: He came as the long-awaited Messiah, fulfilling the prophecies of old. He came to reveal the eternal plan of God for our salvation, inaugurating the New and eternal Covenant for the forgiveness of sins. He came in mystery in order to prepare us for the final consummation, when His glory will fill the earth.

The pre-eminent message of Advent, Part I? Repent! And the pre-eminent messenger? The star of Advent, Part I, so to speak? John the Baptist.

The first part of Advent can last anywhere from 15 to 20 days. This year we have as long an Advent season as we can have, since Christmas falls on a Sunday. The second part of Advent always lasts eight days.

Anyway: During the second part of Advent, we pray and read about the events preceding the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem. In other words, we make our immediate preparations for celebrating His birthday.

Advent, Part II, has numerous stars, including St. Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah…But who is the pre-eminent Lady of the days before Christmas? The Blessed Virgin Mary, of course.

We have tried to keep our lives quiet and prayerful ever since the sun set on November 26th. Now is the time for us to kick that into a higher gear.

Let’s try to live the next eight days as if they were the eight days before the first Christmas. The Blessed Virgin has invited us to accompany her through those eight days, living them with her, reading the words of the prophets as if we were listening to her read them aloud to us, praying psalms as if she were praying them, hearing the narratives of the gospels as if we were there.

May she lead us to a merry Christmas day.

One thought on “Advent, Parts I and II

  1. Father Mark,

    I played Santa at the Santa Breakfast at St. Raphael’s on December 3rd; and I’m just getting over the cold I picked up (from the little petri dishes) now — with the help of a Z-Pack. One can’t help but be impressed by the clear awe and wonderment in the faces of the kids who “BELIEVE” — and, yes, I’m a great fan of the Polar Express, and fables in general.

    And, I’m not the first one, Jesus picked the kids as an example for his flock of fledgling Believers. So, your admonition to get into Advent II is especially timely. Sometimes, I forget just how fulfilling it can be to step back for a while, and view the gentle stars of the Christmas story as though I were hearing it — and believing — for the first time.



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