Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., issued the following message Nov. 26:
The Church year is celebrated with different seasons: Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter, Pentecost. This weekend, we begin the Season of Advent: four weeks before Christmas. The two seasons are related but distinct.
Advent is NOT Christmas; Advent is the beginning of the Church year because it celebrates the beginning of our Church life – the time when Jesus is expected, in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Advent prepares us for Christmas. While Christmas commemorates Christ’s physical entrance into our world, Advent gets us ready for both the physical and spiritual presence of the Son of God with us, “Emmanuel.” Advent is a season of hope-filled waiting and expectation, a holy season. These four weeks are an invitation to pause in our busy lives and pray.
During Advent, we speak of the comings of Christ: into history (expectation of birth); in mystery of everyday, in one another; and in majesty, at the end of time, our final judgment and reunion with God. Advent is a time to get our homes/hearts ready.
To read the Bishop’s full text, click HERE.