Happy New Year! (by Torri Winn)

That’s right…Happy New Year or…Happy 1st day of the New Liturgical Year and the new liturgical year always begins with the season of ADVENT! Advent, from the word “Adventus” which is Latin for “coming,” calls for us to prepare for Christ’s second coming, as we prepare in remembrance of His first coming at Christmas. I always thought it was so appropriate that it comes after the Thanksgiving holiday, as I have always felt that one of the best ways to prepare to receive the Christ-child is to be thankful for all that God has given us, reflecting on how we can prepare our hearts and homes for Christ’s birth in the world as it is today, through prayer, reflection, and special traditions.

Historically, and I seem to be more aware of it at this time, many have gotten caught up in predictions of when Christ will return, forgetting, as the gospel of Mark a few weeks ago told us, even Jesus didn’t know the day of his return. Jesus simply wants us to be ready for His return, whenever that will be. To not let our hearts become “drowsy,” but to be alert and watchful for the signs of His coming. That means we are to be focused on the Lord. It’s easy in our society to get distracted. There are hundreds of things pulling us in different directions, especially this time of year, so we can easily lose focus of what’s most important: our faith. And with that faith comes the promise of the JOY of the Lord – a gift of the Holy Spirit! During Advent, we are called to focus a bit more intently and intentionally on our relationship with God. And whatever may come, we can be as ready as we’ll ever be when Jesus comes, secure in the knowledge that God is with us.

So, I leave you with this thought to ponder as you prepare in the next few weeks for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. What do you need in order to ready your heart for Christ’s return?

Happy New Year!!!