Advent’s here. Jesus is coming! He came over two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, of course, yet he will come again, at the end of time.
“He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will be without end.” We pray for his coming in the Our Father: “Your kingdom come.”
We wait with a “blessed” hope, which means embracing a bigger, long-term vision to sustain and strengthen us as we go forward in life. It’s a hope that keeps dreams alive for something better for our world and ourselves. A blessed hope saves us from small-mindedness, from being dragged down by failure or swallowed up by a deadening present. It’s a hope based on God’s promise, not on our resources.
Don’t rush into Christmas yet. First, put up an Advent wreath in your home to match the Advent wreath you see in church. Then, take the next four weeks savoring the readings and prayers of Advent. I’ll put as many of them as I can on this blog in the coming weeks.
As Advent begins, you’re likely to hear that ancient song “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” The text is based on the names of Christ used in daily Vespers the week leading up to Christmas, known as the ‘O’ antiphons
O Root of Jesse
O Key of David
O King of the Nations
You can learn more about these special antiphons at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_antiphon “
Here’s a beautiful explanation of Bach’s Advent music on Vatican Radio
And, in case you are looking for a handy little guide for the season, here’s one produced by the Passionists.