The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. It is interesting to note how the liturgical year ends with the theme of the Second Coming, while at the same time, the new liturgical year also focuses on the same theme.
Since we are about to celebrate Christmas, we would suppose that the new liturgical year would begin chronologically with a reflection on the Incarnation. However, that is not the case. The reason why the liturgical year ends and begins with the same theme is clear: if we have already embraced Jesus in his first coming, we will have no fear of his second coming.
What is a personal relationship with Jesus?
We need to understand that Jesus is really alive. He is both divine and human. He is really with us. Because he is truly a living person, he can be our best friend. This why Christianity is about a whom rather than a what.
It is also interesting to note that the new liturgical year begins with a penitential season; i.e. the season of Advent. The priest and deacon now use purple colored vestments. As the world around us prepares for Christmas with an ever increasing emphasis on material things, the Church directs our gaze toward the spiritual. The liturgical calendar begins differently from the secular calendar precisely because the Church, while in the world, is not of the world. Advent is a penitential season because Christmas is about our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not about external celebrations. "God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1: 9) The external celebrations should be seen as a visible manifestation of our joy of being disciples of Jesus Christ.
However, during the later part of November... (Continued here)