Posted by: fvbcdm | November 26, 2011

Feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria (25 Nov 2011)

It is the time of the year when we Catholics may wish one another a Happy New Year because this Sunday is the first day of the Holy Season of Advent, and therefore the first day of the new church year. Advent is the sacred time of preparation for the great Christian feast of Christmas, and we celebrate Christmas, in turn, because by celebrating the coming of Jesus in the past as a human baby, which is what Christmas is all about, we prepare ourselves to celebrate his coming at the end of our lives as our judge, our king, our savior.

And what does he say to us in the gospel of this first Mass of the Advent season this year? “Watch, therefore! You don’t know when the Lord of the house is coming (that is, when I am coming); whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows at early dawn, or in the morning . . . What I say to you, I say to all: WATCH!”

The word Advent comes from the Latin “advenit” which means “he is coming.”  And the Latin word for “Watch” is “Vigilate”; we get the English words “be vigilant” from that. Vigilant means alert, wide awake, like the householder who knows when the thief plans to burglarize his house and therefore does not allow him to come in, harm any of his family, or take what the owner has. So, as the old saying goes, the coming of the Lord is not a matter of “IF” but of “WHEN.”


Should we fear the coming of the Lord as we fear thieves and burglars? Not at all! What we must fear is our being unready for him when he does come — being drowsy, inattentive, groggy, unconcerned about his arrival, having no welcome for him in our hearts. So my dear friends, let these two words dominate our thoughts and prayers from now until Christmas: “Advenit: he is coming!” “Vigilate: watch; stay awake and alert. Be ready!”  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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