For us as Catholics, our liturgical year ended November 25 with the Feast of Our Lord Christ the King, and our new ecclesiastical year began December 2 with the First Sunday of Advent.
Advent is a time of waiting and expectation — a season of quiet anticipation and preparation. We are waiting for our Lord to come into the world as the baby Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem. We are also preparing for His return, His second coming as the shepherd-king, to restore harmony and right relationships to all creation. Advent is a season yearning for God to come and set the world right with perfect justice, truth, and peace. It is a season of hope.
Advent is also a time to emphasize our preparation through prayer and fasting. Advent’s prayers should be prayers of humble devotion and commitment, prayers for deliverance, prayers of gladness and joyful expectation, prayers that await the light of Christ coming into the world.
The word “Advent” means “coming” or “coming toward.” It has the same roots as the word “arrival.” It is our time to prepare for the “coming” or “arrival” of the King — of Christmas. (Note that “mas” in Spanish means “more,” so we might say, in a sense, that Christmas means “more Christ.”)
Stewardship is sort of an eternal Christmas. Stewardship means, of course, “All that I am and all that I have is in trust (or entrusted) to me from God.” Advent is a time of preparation to share in the extravagant goodness and grace of God. A blessed Advent to all!