By Tony Morales
This Sunday we begin a new season in the liturgical calendar of the Church. Today, we begin the great Season of Advent. There are two messages that we will hear over the next four weeks. One message and set of values will come to us from the media and the shops. We will be told that we will have to move faster, stay busy, queue longer in the shops and spend more money on those ‘must have’ presents so that we will have the ‘perfect’ Christmas, as if such a thing exists. We will be told and sold the idea that unless we buy more and more and surround ourselves with all the trappings of Christmas, we won’t be happy. This most definitely is ‘fake news.’ However, there is a very different message and set of values that will be offered to us through the gospels, the prayers and the liturgy of Advent. We are being asked to prepare a way for the Lord, to stay awake, to make a straight a path for the Lord and to get ourselves ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. This is most definitely is ‘Good News!
The message of Advent is an invitation and it also a challenge to us. We are called to be looking forward, to be ready, to be prepared and we are asked to wait in joyful hope. Let us, therefore, stay awake this Advent season and wait for the Lord with hope and gladness!