Waiting in Joyful Hope

Waiting in Joyful Hope

This year, Advent begins on November 29. This season of Advent gives us life and hope for the future. It is a hope forged in waiting, personal reflection, and spiritual preparation. We are invited to look inward and reflect on ourselves and on the gift of Jesus.

friars in grotto

Friars pray in the candle grotto at the St. Anthony Shrine.

Advent also begins the Church's spiritual new year of grace, making this time during the liturgical year a wonderful opportunity to begin anew while preparing our minds and hearts for the birth of our Savior.

Unfortunately, compared to Christmas, the four weeks of Advent can be forgotten by our secular world, and it rarely receives the attention it deserves. With Thanksgiving and the activity-filled Christmas season, some of us forget about Advent, or we are too busy to properly observe it. Sure, we may have an Advent wreath at home, but are we really using this time to prayerfully ready ourselves for the coming of Christ?

Advent is the time to slow down the materialist hassle of the holiday season and reflect on Jesus’ birth in the piercing cold that night in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. Jesus came into the world at the first Christmas to bring us eternal life. With this promise, we anticipate a better tomorrow, even as we struggle with the realities of today.

prayer booklet

Click on image to sign up for a free prayer booklet.

Let us pray together, and for one another, that we are able to use this time during Advent to rid ourselves of material distractions and really prepare our homes for the very special guest of Jesus Christ.

We have included two resources to help you realize a more meaningful Advent.

The first resource, Advent with Our Lady of Guadalupe, by Susan Hines-Brigger of Franciscan Media, is a bilingual pocketbook with daily readings, reflections, and prayers in both English and Spanish for each day of Advent. It will enrich your time before Christmas with the story of Guadalupe and Juan Diego, the saint who carried her message to the world.

The second resource is an Advent calendar with ideas for each day to help keep you focused on the Advent season. You can hang it on your refrigerator or bulletin board.

Click image to download the Advent calendar.

We hope you enjoy these tools as you count down the days until Christmas. May your heart be filled with hope and joy as you ready yourself for the coming of the Christ Child.

If you are able, we ask that you consider a gift this Advent to help us to better serve the greatly increasing needs of our ministries due to Covid-19.

We've written a prayer to be said during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Please join us everyday as we pray for God's blessings. Read the prayer here.

Wishing you a blessed and holy Advent season.

P.S. Your gift makes such a difference in our work, especially in these challenging times.

For a list of Advent and Christmas events (live streamed and in person) around the Province of St. John the Baptist, click here.

Posted in: Advent and Christmas