Reflection: Come Lord Jesus! Welcome to the season of Advent! Advent opens with the Gospel call to “keep alert” and “stay awake”, repeated four times in today’s short Gospel reading. We look forward to the Lord’s coming in several ways: to his second coming in glory, to his nativity again this Christmas and to our personal meeting with the Lord when we are called from this world in death. The word “advent,” from the Latin adventus (Greek parousia), means “coming” or “arrival.”

The Advent Season is focused on the “coming” of Jesus as Messiah – the Christ or King, the Anointed One of God. Our Liturgy prepares us spiritually for Christmas (his first coming), but also for his eventual second coming. This is why the Bible readings during Advent include both Old Testament passages related to the expected Messiah, and New Testament passages concerning Jesus’ second coming as judge of all. Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviour’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming.” (CCC, 524).