Today the “first part” of Advent concludes. Tomorrow, the truly frantic Christmas shopping begins.
Seriously, though. Everybody know that the season of Advent has two parts? During the first part, at Holy Mass each day, we have prayed and read Scripture passages about the coming of Christ considered as a whole.
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, veiled in human flesh, 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.
And the star of Advent, Part II? James Earl Jones, of course, doing the voice of Darth Vader again, after over 30 years! Just kidding.
During the second part of Advent, we pray and read about the events preceding the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem. Advent, Part II, has numerous stars, including St. Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah, the actual star itself, shining over Bethlehem…But who is the pre-eminent Lady of the days before Christmas? The Blessed Virgin Mary, of course.
May she intercede to help the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. And may she lead us all to a merry Christmas day.