4th Week of Advent: The Wondrous “O” Antiphons

We come, at last, to the final week of Advent today.  Even though this year it is barely one day long since Christmas falls on Monday (something that isn’t common and hasn’t happened since 2006), the fourth week of advent is crucial in the advent journey to Christmas.  This week is the final preparation for the coming of the Nativity of Our Lord at Christmas.  Everything around us beginning on December 17 (regardless of the week of Advent it falls in) reflects this final push to Christmas, most especially the liturgy in which we celebrate.  Read more

3rd Week of Advent: We are Halfway Out of the Dark

An important date occurs this week, and no it’s not quite Christmas yet.  This week is December 21 and this date marks an important point in the Earth’s yearly journey around the Sun.  We are halfway out of the dark.  Generally, we call this the first day of winter.  In science we call it the winter solstice.  It is this day that marks our journey around the sun, after which the days will slowly get longer and be filled with more light.  It is no coincidence that we celebrate the season of Advent and Christmas at this time when it is so dark in our natural world.  Nature around us mirrors the Advent and Christmas meaning.  Just as we will go through the darkest day of the year and after begin to see more and more light as the days continue, Christ too entered the deep darkness of humanity to continuously bring more and more light out of the darkness of sin through the first Christmas!

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2nd Week of Advent: Joining in the Ancient Expectation of the Messiah

As we continue in the journey of Advent this year, it is important to recall that waiting for the Messiah is not only something that happens in Advent today.  Although, in a very particular way, today we await the second coming of Christ, which is one of the main themes of Advent, salvation history before the first coming of Christ was also filled with expectation and the awaiting of the messiah.  Our waiting for the second coming of Christ parallels the same waiting with expectation that the people of Israel experienced in the many centuries leading up to that first nativity over 2,000 years ago. Read more

1st Week of Advent: We Begin by Considering our End

Happy New Year!

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

I think many in our world today fall into this reality, many don’t know (or reject) what comes at the end of our lives and end up living without a direction in life.  As Catholics we know what our end is: eternal life in heaven or eternal punishment in hell.  This means that there are certain paths to get to these ends and God, our Heavenly Father, desires us to be with Him eternally in heaven, which is the only thing that will truly fulfill us.  Advent is a privileged time to look at our lives and make changes to live in the light and love of God to journey on the path to eternal life.  Advent calls us in a particular way to wait and prepare. Read more

It’s Not Christmas Yet!

In a world where Christmas decorations are on sale even before Halloween, it is quite difficult to remember what Christmas is truly about.  Plastic Santas and reindeer pop up on front lawns across the country, “Merry Christmas” is replaced with “Happy Holidays,” and the season of peppermint mochas and eggnog lattes has engulfed us once again.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but what many people don’t even realize is that Christmas doesn’t actual begin until December 25 and they miss out on the season of Advent, which precedes Christmas in the Catholic liturgical calendar, a season I love just as much as Christmas. Read more