Advent Begins—Happy New Year

Dec. 3, 2023

Today the Church begins a new Liturgical Calendar. As has been noted in previous bulletins, the Church’s calendar differs from the standard calendar, because its primary purpose is to tell the Christ story. There is a three-year cycle of readings, based on the three Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This is Year Two of that cycle, and the gospels during Ordinary Time will come mostly from the Gospel of Mark. I say mostly, because Mark is the shortest Gospel, and that allows the Church to use six weeks in the summer for the Bread of Life Discourse from the Gospel of John, chapter six.
   
The four special seasons of the Church calendar are not summer, fall, winter, and spring. They are Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. In addition, there are special feasts and holy days which focus our attention on special events of Jesus’ life and ministry.

Advent inserts us into the time before the coming of Christ with the Hebrew people as they pray for and prepare for the coming of the Messiah. There is also a focus on preparing ourselves for the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time.
   
In the Gospel for this Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent, we hear Jesus warn the people of His time, and us, that we should be watchful, so that we will be prepared when He returns at the Second Coming. He tells us that we do not know when that return will take place, so we should live in a constant state of readiness. It is easy to convince ourselves that we have plenty of time, so why concern ourselves with readiness. But do we have plenty of time?
Fr. Mike Comer

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