The first Sunday of Advent signals a time of waiting and preparation for the coming of Our Lord Jesus. The Advent wreath helps us to meditate on this ‘waiting’ period before the arrival of Christmas. It is circular to indicate the fact that God is eternal, without beginning or end. It is a crown made of green branches which symbolise the fact that the lord reigns in our families bringing love and hope. The four candles symbolise the fact that Christ is the light of the world that illuminates all our darkness.
Each Sunday during Advent we will reflect on the Gospel of the day.
The Gospel of the First Sunday of Advent opens and closes with the invite to “Watch.” Jesus leaves us with a simple comparison to help us understand the importance of being on our guard for His return. “It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.” (Mk 13:34)
What does it mean to “watch” during Advent? It means to stay alert to the way that the Lord wants to transform our lives according to His Will for us. To watch means to see God’s Will for our lives and to remove anything that obscures our vision on our journey towards Him.
Every Christian is called to become a saint – Sanctity is for everyone. Blessed Cardinal Schuster said, “people say that we can no longer convince them with our sermons. However, when faced with sanctity, people still believe and are still inclined to kneel in prayer. Do not forget that the devil is not afraid of the cinema or the sports field but he is afraid of sanctity!
During this first week of Advent let us ask Our Lord for the grace to know how to ‘watch’ or to look for the Lord’s coming in our lives. We entrust our journey this Advent to Our Blessed Mother who is the very model of sanctity.