28 November 2005

O Come, Desired of Nations, Come

But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.

Therefore, keep awake-- for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.
Mark 13

Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent and thus we begin readying ourselves for the Nativity of Our Lord. I am well underway in my preparations. I have my Christmas blend coffee from Starbucks. I have downloaded some more Christmas music from iTunes and organized a playlist. So as you can see, except for putting up a few decorations, there is really not much left to do.

But Advent is also the beginning of the Church year. Thus, it is not only a time of preparation and waiting and watchfulness--the posture that the Gospel of Mark urges us to--but it is a time for a fresh start. In this regard, I like to think if Advent as a little Lent right before Christmas. (The attitude of fasting and repentence seems to have been lost from contemporary celebrations of Advent. I even just read that some churches are trading Advent purple for blue to distinguish it from Lent.)

In expectation of the coming Lord, what do we need to do to celebrate his Incarnation with due reverence and solemn joy?


MM said...

... what the Church says to do: give to the poor.

Garland said...

I concur. Heartily.