‘Advent’ means ‘coming’ and the Advent Season for Christians is liturgically set four weeks before Christmas, to wake us from our sleep and invite us into a time of quiet and reflection, as we await anew, for the coming of Jesus into our lives at Christmas.
The readings and the liturgies during the Advent Season offers an opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, especially through the Prophet Isaiah, and to alert us as we await his Second Coming. These readings are ever ancient, ever new, and speak to us today. So many of us need consolation in the world today. We may be refugees running from terror because of the tyranny of war, violence and corrupt regimes or we can also be running from our own story within us…our past may be haunting us, but on the Second Sunday of Advent we are invited to allow the Shepherd to gather us in his arms in Isaiah 40:1-11:
‘Console my people, console them’ says your God. A voice cries: Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Make a straight highway for your God, let every valley be filled in… then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. Go up to a high mountain, joyful messenger to Zion. Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem. Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah: Here is your God. He is like a shepherd gathering the lambs in his arms. Holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes’.
As we look at the Advent wreath we see that the purple colour is symbolic of this season. Purple is a symbol of royalty as well as reflecting a spirit of penitence and the need to prepare our hearts. One pink candle symbolizes the joy of the season and the circle of evergreens in the Advent wreath signify eternal life that comes from Jesus. The white candle in the center is the symbol of Jesus the Light of the World and the light of our hearts. This candle is lit on Christmas Day.
Advent Blessings to all.