The First Sunday of Advent: The Beginning of the Liturgical Year

Come, delay no longer. Prepare for the coming of Christ.

It is now the hour for us to rise from sleep…let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and walk honestly.

Many of us have had difficult years. It has been a year like no other. For the secular world, they have to wait another 32 days to begin anew: we men and women of God can turn the page tomorrow.

The joy of Advent is exactly what our souls need at the moment. Being forced to wear masks at worship, being denied the sacraments for long periods of time, being unable to sing our praises to the Lord, having the liberty of the Church encroached upon. We had to deal with it all this year. For some, it was too much, and they have fallen away. Let us keep them in our prayers.

Our joy leads to the virtue of hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better than yesterday. Hope that our lives will be guided by the Holy Trinity. Hope that we will grow closer to God.

Whatever shortcomings you felt over the last year in your spiritual life, put them behind you now. It is a new year. Start afresh. Go to meet the Lord who waits for you, patiently, with infinite love. Set some realistic goals over the next Church year to grow stronger in your union with Christ. Grow in holiness.

I am the first among sinners in terms of wretchedness. It will take an extraordinary act of mercy to save me. Let us help each other grow stronger. Let us help each other grow closer to God now, so that this year will be better than the last.

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