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 in Bethlehem and lived among us. Second, the Lord, the Alpha and the Omega, will come to judge the living and the dead. In between these times, 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 but with an attitude of penance - joy, because we can imagine nothing sweeter than the Christ Child and His Mother Mary coming to light; penance, because we should always strive to be properly disposed to receive the gift of his presence.
The simplicity of the liturgical season, in both decor and music, is intended to emphasize the penitential nature of preparation for Christmas – the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity. So let us anticipate Christmas and Christ’s coming with restless, but focused preparation. May the reflections here, offered by members and friends of the Villanova University community, help lead us to the joy of the season.