My Dear Parishioners and Friends of Holy Family Catholic Community,
As we prepare for the Christmas Season (which, by the way, doesn’t start until December 25th and lasts until January 8th “The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord”), let us be reminded what the Season of Advent is all about.
The four short weeks of Advent is a time of Spiritual preparation of expectation of the coming of Christ. Since Christmas is the annual celebration of the Birthday of Jesus (His first coming), this season is meant to open our minds to the folly of those who misjudged God’s graces at Christ’s first coming and to open our hearts to the correct form of preparation (for we who live in the “in-between” times) who are preparing for His Second coming. This is the reason why the first weeks of Advent are filled with stories regarding the “end times” while the stories of the birth of Christ only come near the end of this season.
What good is it to us if we celebrate the Birth of the Son of God, if He is not born to us in our hearts and actions? What we are led to reflect upon during this “Season of Preparation” is the renewed awareness of what Christ means to us now and throughout our lives, and that our goal within our lives is to prepare to meet Him “in person”. This is why the Birth narratives are filled with the stories of Shepherds and Wise Men “relating to” and becoming physically close to the God incarnate. But, how can we do that now? This is the reason why Jesus leaves us with the Eucharist, His Body and Blood. We are given the opportunity, in our days, each day, to taste the Lord in His Glory, in order to awaken in us the love and desire of a God who loves us, similar to the experiences of the Shepherds and Wise men. This is the Season of that awakening.
This Advent opens the year long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Diocese of Orlando, which has taken the initiative to celebrate this year as a Year of the Eucharist, in order to help enlighten our Orlando Church to the gift that we have been given and to learn more throughout the year of God’s great Love. May this year touch you in this profound way.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Very Rev. John C. Giel, V.G.,