On Sunday, November 30, the new Church year began with the season of Advent. Advent means “coming.” The days of Advent point the people of God toward the three comings of the Lord Jesus. He came among us in a stable in Bethlehem. He comes among us now in the scriptures, the waters of baptism, the Eucharistic meal and the community of faith. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
The symbols of the season help us prepare for his coming. The color of the season is blue, signifying hope as we look forward to the coming of God’s kingdom in its completeness. The bright blue candles of the Advent wreath are lit each week, leading us to Christmas and the birth of the Light of the World. Each Sunday the scripture readings proclaim Advent themes of watching, waiting, rejoicing, and hoping.
The task of keeping Advent as a separate season with its own agenda is not an easy one. The world celebrates Christmas from Thanksgiving Day to December 25, but the Church has a different calendar. Christmas is a season of 12 days that begins on December 25 and ends on January 6.
Keeping Advent is a counter-cultural activity. However, if we are faithful and attentive to the themes of Advent, we will be ready to celebrate the coming of the Lord at any time. We believe that Jesus is coming, and we stand on tiptoe to glimpse him.