Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming.
Throughout our lives, He has come to us in different ways. First, Jesus came to us at a specific point in history at Bethlehem, and lived among us. Second, the Lord, the Alpha and the Omega, will come to judge the living and the dead. Third, the Redeemer comes to us in grace. He comes to us in the Eucharist and in the Word of God, proclaimed. He appears before us in the person of the beggar, the suffering and the imprisoned. Advent reminds us that we must be ready to receive and welcome Him when He comes, whenever and however He comes.
Advent is a time of joy tinged with penance - joy, because we can imagine nothing sweeter than the Christ Child and His Mother Mary coming to light; penance, because we must strive to be properly disposed to receive the great gift of his presence.
The simplicity of the liturgical season in both décor and music is intended to emphasize the penitential nature of our preparation for Christmas – the glorious celebration of the Feast of the Nativity. So let us anticipate Christmas and Christ’s coming with restless but focused preparation. May these reflections, offered by members of the Villanova University community, help lead us to the joy of the season.
Advent Reflections are provided each year by the Office for Mission & Ministry. They are available in both printed and electronic form. For more information, contact the Office for Mission & Ministry, 104 Corr Hall, Villanova, University.