Advent is the four-week season starting our liturgical year. The most poetic and appealing of seasons, this is the time when we prepare ourselves properly for the coming feast of the Lord's birth.
Weeks of Advent
FIRST PART OF ADVENT
First Sunday of Advent until December 16
The first reading at Mass is educational and understandable than the second. Because it is giving us the Old Testament expectations and predictions of the coming Messiah.
Our guide during this first part of Advent will be the major prophet Isaiah. During the first part of Advent , in consecutive readings, we have some of the outstanding readings from the prophet. In each of the Advent Masses , the Gospel shows how that prediction or description was fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah.
The first Advent Preface is used as if to point out this connection between the Old and the New Testament. The first Advent Preface says of Jesus: "...he fulfilled the plan you formed long ago and opened for us the way to salvation."
SECOND PART OF ADVENT
The first readings are the most famous Old Testament Messianic predictions. Each one of them speaks of One-to-come, of the future Anointed One: the Messiah.
The Gospels are taken exclusively from the Infancy Narratives of Matthew and Luke [from the first chapter only of each ], in this way we read the events which immediately prepared for the Lord's birth. The Gospel acclamation is taken from ech of the O Antiphons.
The second Advent Preface mentions to us the special guides who will help us during this stage: the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist and the Blessed Mother herself.
The church uses, from December 17 to 23, seven short prayers that have a special richness and importance. Known as the "O Antiphons" or the "Greater Antiphons," these prayers compress and express the Old Testament Messianic hope for Christ.
Experiencing Advent...for Busy People
The First Week of Advent: Desire and Focus
If we can’t squeeze any more time out of our schedule to use the resources on this site, including the daily prayer and the reflections, then there are two things that are critical for a new way to experience Advent: Desire and Focus.
Week Three of Advent: Letting It Become Personal: The latter part of Advent takes us into the story of Jesus’ coming to be our Savior. This is not the story of a generic god saving us. Jesus is sent to be a human Savior. God becomes one of us in Jesus. So, in our longing and anticipation, we can begin to get to know him through his relatives who prepare the way for his coming.
Week Two of Advent – Longing and Anticipation: Once we experience our deep desire for Light and Hope, Liberty and Peace, we can start to pray with deep longing and anticipation. Longing is an expression of how much we want something. Anticipation is an expression of how much we expect it to become a reality.
Week Four of Advent: The Final Days of Advent – Getting to the Manger: So often the final days before Christmas become a blur of activity. Hopefully, this year, we have gotten good at using the background time each day to focus our reflection and conversation with God the Father and with Jesus....
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