HAPPY NEW YEAR to everybody! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR to everybody! 

No, the greeting is not a typo. Last week we celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King and the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. Today we begin our Liturgical Year with the First Sunday of Advent which marks the beginning of our Church year. 

Advent is also the beginning of a new cycle of prayers and Scripture readings in the Mass. We will enter into Cycle C of our Liturgy, and the Gospel of St. Luke will be the primary Gospel throughout this cycle.

The four weeks before Christmas are called “Advent”. This term comes from a Latin word (adventus) which means ‘coming, arrival’. In the Church’s context, we immediately realize that it refers to the coming of Jesus at Christmas time which is right. Even though we think of Advent as the time of preparation for the coming of Jesus at Christmas, the Advent preparation is not exhausted there. We have to speak of the three comings of the Lord that are referred to in today’s Scripture readings.

The Prophet Jeremiah refers prophetically to the coming of Jesus, our King and Saviour: “I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land” (Jer 33:15). The Prophet Jeremiah speaks of the coming of the Child Jesus in Bethlehem, which we anticipate and prepare for in these four weeks. This is known as the First Coming.

The Gospel gives us a glimpse into the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of time. “Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory” (Lk 21:27)

Besides these two comings, there is an indispensable coming between the First and Second. The Second Reading invites us to reflect on it: The welcoming of Jesus into our lives in the here and now. The coming of Jesus into our lives takes place on a daily basis. The recognition of Christ in our lives day after day makes us ponder about the First Coming of Jesus in Bethlehem, and the Second Coming of Jesus in power and glory. 

Make a resolution and take this time of Advent as a preparation for the constant recognition of Christ in your lives.  Make the best out of Advent by entrusting yourself to Him and constantly seeking to encounter Him in your life. Happy Liturgical New Year!