Monday, 28 November 2016

Advent is Here!! Come Lord Jesus!

Sound the trumpets in Zion, 
summon the nations; 
call the people together and tell them the good news: 

Our God and our Saviour 
is coming!

St. Charles Borromeo
The Season of Advent

From a pastoral letter from St. Charles Borromeo, bishop

Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation.  The great season of Advent.  

This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoice at last to see.  This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity.  

We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in this mystery.  In his infinite love for us, though we were sinners, he sent his only Son to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, to welcome us into its innermost recesses, to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of his grace, and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.

Every year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us.  This holy season teaches us that Christ’s coming was not only for the benefit of his contemporaries; his power has still to be communicated to us all.  We shall share his power, if, through holy faith and sacraments, we willingly accept the grace Christ earned for us and live by that grace and in obedience to Christ.

The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in the flesh, is prepared to come again.  When we removed all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace.

In her concern for our salvation, our loving mother the Church uses this holy season to teach us through hymns, canticles and other forms of expression, of voice and ritual, used by the Holy Spirit.  She shows us how grateful we should be for so great a blessing, and how to gain its coming of Christ as if he were still to come into this world.  The same lesson is given us for our imitation by the words and example of the holy men of the Old Testament.

Lord, help me welcome You once again 
and make room for You in my daily life, 
that You may make Your home in my heart.

Advent is the beginning of the new liturgical year. 
It is a season of spiritual preparation, 
marked by eager longing for the
coming of the Saviour 
through grace at Christmas, 
and for His second and final coming.