We began Advent with the cry, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’. Now we end it with the joyful shout, ‘God is with us!’ Reflecting on the historical birth of Jesus, the Church proclaims the truth that God is, and has always been, with his people. And if God is with us, then God is for us. God is on our side. God has no desire to live in houses made of wood, stone or gold. God’s deepest desire is to live in human flesh. Just as God did that in the human flesh of Jesus Christ a long time ago, God continues to do so now in us. Like Mary, we accept God’s invitation, allowing Jesus to become flesh in us, too; to be seen and experienced in good thoughts, good words and good actions, in deeds of loving kindness which bring life, not death, to God’s people.
May we take the spirit of Christmas with us into the New Year.
Thank you to those who joined us on zoom for weekly reflections on scripture during Advent in preparation for Christmas
The word “advent” means appearing, arrival, to come. Advent is the Church’s time of preparation for celebrating God’s gift of his Son. Our liturgy will gather the great Advent themes of hope, expectation and preparation. During Advent we recall Christ’s coming at Bethlehem and we look forward to his second coming at the end of time. Advent is a season of joyful expectation.
The predominant colour during Advent is purple. Unlike Lent, Advent is not a penitential season. The purple colour represents hope, expectation and healing. It is one of the royal colours. We are preparing to welcome the King, the “sun of justice” who “will shine out with healing in its rays”. (Mal 4:2 NRSV, 3:20 Jerusalem)
The custom of the Advent Wreath began in Germany in the 16th century. It symbolises the many years that the people of Israel waited in darkness for the coming of the expected Saviour. The light of the wreath grows steadily during our Advent prayer.
Advent has two parts. The first two Sundays focus on preparing for Jesus’ return at the end of time. The second two Sundays focus on preparing to celebrate the anniversary of Jesus’ birth.
The Gospels of the Sundays in Advent have four great movements: 1. Stay Awake! 2. Prepare! 3. Rejoice! and 4. Receive! Advent is a journey from Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus! to Emmanuel. God-is-with-us.