Fr Ron Johnson
From Fr. Ron
The season of Advent marks the start of the Christian year. It is a season of expectation and preparation as the Church looks forward to celebrating the birth of Christ.
Although it is a season of preparation, the characteristic note of Advent is expectation rather than penitence. Commercial pressure has made it harder to keep a sense of alert watchfulness in our anticipation of Christmas but, for many Christians, our own preparation for the coming of Christ is a powerful reminder of the real meaning of the coming season.
In the northern part of the world, Advent falls at the darkest time of the year, and the natural symbols of darkness and light are powerfully at work. Here in Australia, with Spring and the approaching summer, we are reminded of the new re-birth of nature as plants come to bud and flower.
Like many churches we use an ‘Advent wreath’ of candles to mark the Sundays of Advent, lighting a new candle each week. Our focus in Advent this year are the gifts that the coming Christ brings, gifts that trully re-create us: hope, joy, peace and love.
Even though we might be surrounded by a society eager to get to Christmas, let us take some time to enjoy the expectation found in Advent and use the time to prepare our hearts to receive the newly born Christ.
Peace and Grace to you.