Thought for the Day – 26 November – Advent is nearly here!
Advent—that period of great anticipatory joy—is a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s arrival in Bethlehem as a helpless infant. In the Western liturgy, Advent begins four Sundays prior to December 25—the Sunday closest to 30 November, which is the feast of Saint Andrew, one of Jesus’ first disciples.
The annual commemoration of Christ’s birth begins the Christmas cycle of the liturgical year—a cycle that runs from Christmas day to the Baptism of the Lord. In keeping with the unfolding of the message of the liturgical year, I hope to post from the first Sunday of Advent through twelve days of the Christmas cycle, or until 6 January, daily Scripture and Prayer with St Alphonsus Liguori, in place of (usually) the One Minute Reflection.
The four weeks of Advent are often thought of as symbolising the four different ways Christ comes into the world:
(1) upon His birth as a helpless infant;
(2) upon His arrival in the hearts of believers;
(3) upon His death;
(4) upon His arrival on Judgement Day.
Because Christmas falls on a different day of the week each year, the fourth week of Advent is never really finished; it is abruptly, joyously and solemnly abrogated by the annual coming again of Christ at Christmas. Christ’s Second Coming will also one day abruptly interrupt our sojourn here on Earth.
Each “day” begins with the words of Saint Alphonsus Liguori. Following that quotation, is an excerpt from Scripture that is related in some way. Next is a prayer, also built on the ideas from the two preceding passages. Finally, an Advent or Christmas “action” suggests ways in which to apply the messages to one’s daily life.
I hope you will join St Alphonsus as we journey to Bethlehem and may the Holy Alphonsus, Pray for us all!