Pastor’s Corner – November 9, 2014
LITURGY CORNER 11
with Fr. James
LITERAL & SPIRITUAL MEANING
OF THE WORD: ADVENT
As a liturgical season, Advent anticipates the celebration of Christmas. So in anticipation of Advent, let’s begin looking at what that means.
Literally. The Latin word adventus, meaning arrival or coming, translates the Greek word used in the New Testament, parousia, having the same meaning. In NT contexts it refers to what we generally call The Second Coming of Christ at the end of the age. The theme for the readings of the first two weeks of Advent, following on the Feast of Christ the King, concerns this Advent yet to come. The Sunday readings then transition into the theme of Israel’s awaiting Christ’s first arrival, to be celebrated on Christmas.
Spiritually. The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides a pithy summary of the spiritual meaning of this liturgical season:
When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present [the] ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor’s birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (CCC #524)
As our holiday of Thanksgiving Day and holy day of Christ the King approach, we can turn our minds toward our own desire for the Lord’s advent in our lives.