Pastor’s Corner 11.28.2021

Deck the Halls if you Must, But …

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We celebrate today the First Sunday of Advent, a season of devout and joyful expectation of the Lord’s coming: Longing for His coming at the end of time, commemoration of His first coming two-thousand years ago and preparation for His “next” coming in our lives in the Eucharist, in Scripture or prayer, and when he comes to us through our encounters with others.

The colors of violet and rose dominate the Advent Season and mirror the colors of the candles in the Advent Wreath.  The violet color also reminds us of Advent’s history as the “Little Lent” when penitential practices were a more prominent aspect of the season than they are today. 

Catholics are encouraged to understand Advent as a time of waiting, conversion and hope.  In the Advent liturgies we make present Israel’s ancient longing for the Messiah.  Reflecting on the prophetic role of John the Baptist, we “prepare the way” of the Lord in our own hearts and we anticipate with hope the Messiah’s return at the end of days. 

I have consistently tried to remind people to mark the Season of Advent by holding off on all the Christmas decorations until Christmas day was near.  But, my words often fell on deaf ears as the retail stores announce their Christmas specials and hung wreaths and Christmas decor before Halloween, only to tear it all down by December 26th when the Valentine’s hearts hit the shelves. I have come realize that people can’t wait to get their Christmas tree up because they really love Christmas – which is a very good thing. 

So, go ahead and deck the halls if you must, but then please keep the Christmas celebration going until at least Epiphany.  But also, don’t ignore the Season of Advent as that time to prepare and reflect on your deepest longings that only God can fulfill; a time to wait in joyful hope for the Lord’s coming.  Have a wonderful Advent Season!

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,