Happy Advent! Happy new year! Today is the first day of the Church's new year, the year of God the Father.
The word "advent" means "coming." The coming, that is, Advent "of the Son of Man will repeat what happened in Noah's time" (Mt 24:37). Most people were "totally unconcerned" before the flood and before Jesus' coming in the Incarnation (Mt 24:39). Most people may also be unprepared before Jesus' final coming and His coming this Christmas. We need the Advent season so that we will not fall into the typical pattern of missing Jesus' comings.
Advent is essential. Advent is like a pregnancy. Without pregnancy, there is no possibility for birth. Without Advent, we don't have Christmas. Of course, we will observe the holiday, but we won't have the holy day of Christmas unless we let the Lord give us the spiritual pregnancy of Advent.
Christmas should not be merely a memory or an amusement. Christmas is Christ's coming to us in a new way — really and not symbolically. However, we "cannot know the day" our "Lord is coming" (Mt 24:42). It's unlikely the Lord will come on December 25 or January 6, for He comes "at the time you least expect" (Mt 24:44). However, "as certain as the dawn is His coming" (Hos 6:3). "But who will endure the day of His coming?" (Mal 3:2) "Stay awake, therefore!" (Mt 24:42) Make this Advent the best ever leading to the greatest Christmas season of your life. Happy Advent!