Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Preparation for Christmas is an important theme for Advent, but more is involved. Advent gives us a vision of our lives as Christians and shows us the possibilities of life.

The vision of life that Advent gives us is twofold; it looks back to the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem, and it looks to the future when Christ will come again. In the interval between these two events we find meaning for our life as a Christian.

First we celebrate Christ-become-human. We view his life and experience his presence as a human being in our history. Christ came to show us what life can and should be. He gave us true and valid principles by which we can live true and valid lives. But Jesus knew that the human heart could not live in isolation. He formed the Church around the concept of a people held together by love. In that community we discover unlimited possibilities and meaning. Alone we can do nothing. Together we find real meaning.

When Christ left this earth, he did not abandon us. He remains with us in his Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, the Scriptures and each other. He lives in community with us and keeps his vision of life before us.

When Christ comes again, his presence will no longer be hidden behind the signs and symbols of the liturgy or the words of the Scriptures. His presence among us will be revealed in all its fullness, a presence that will never end, a presence that will perfect and complete our community.

This is the "greater significance" of Advent. In these few short weeks we take in the sweeping panorama of time - from Christ's birth to his Second Coming. The season of Advent brings us the magnificent vision of life and hope for the future given to us by Christ.

Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ's Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful. He will not find us asleep.

© Liguori Publications Excerpt from Advent - A Quality Storecupboard The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer


More Advent & Christmas

What is Advent?

What is Advent?

Advent? What is all about

The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. The Lord is coming. We may reflect that every year at this time we celebrate his coming , so that in a sense we can lose the feeling of expectancy and joyful anticipation, because at the end of the season, everything seems to return to pretty much the same routine. If that is the case, then our preparation may have been lacking ... continue reading

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story

Christmas Story explained

To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace... continue reading

Mary, Mother of God

Mary Speaks From the Heart

A surprised Mary is afraid
A perplexed Mary is confused
An astonished Mary is faithful

A Young Mother Gives Birth

Making a difficult Journey
Facing difficult circumstances
The Fruit of Thy Womb...

Mary Remembers

The Angel's Visit
The conversation with Joseph
The Visit to Elizabeth

Jesus, Beloved Son

A Birth Foretold

God speaks to Adam
Isaiah speaks to Israel
An Angel Speaks to Joseph

The Witnesses Gather

Watched from Heaven
Watched from Darkness
Watched by Man

The Plan Unfolds

Not just any child
Not just any destiny
Not just any result


More to Explore

Daily Scripture Readings for Advent

Advent Daily Readings

The weeks of Advent remind us to set aside some of the hectic business of the holiday season, and to quietly reflect on the promise of the baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. The Bible readings listed below relate to the Advent themes of waiting, preparation, light in the darkness, and the coming of the promised Messiah. continue reading


Build Family Tradition

Ideas to Make Your Christmas Special

Establish a Tradition
Involve Everyone, all ages
Open your door to others

Traditions From Around The World

The message of Christmas is that
the visible material world is bound to the
invisible spiritual world.

Christmas Quotes

Great cultures Celebrate Christ
Gift Giving is Universal
Great Stories and Quotes



More Advent & Christmas News

The 'O' Antiphons - O Emmanuel

Image of

By Catholic Online

LATIN: O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster. ENGLISH: O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.[media ... continue reading


The 'O' Antiphons - O Rex Gentium

Image of

By Catholic Online

LATIN: O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti. ENGLISH: O King of the gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out ... continue reading


The 'O' Antiphons - O Oriens

Image of

By Catholic Online

LATIN: O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol iustitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis. ENGLISH: O dawn of the east, brightness of light eternal, and sun of justice: come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of ... continue reading


The 'O' Antiphons - O Clavis David

Image of

By Catholic Online

LATIN: O clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel: qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris. ENGLISH: O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and ... continue reading


The 'O' Antiphons - O Radix Jesse

Image of

By Catholic Online

LATIN: O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare. ENGLISH: O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto ... continue reading


All Advent & Christmas News

The Advent and Christmas Season... by CatholicShopping.com

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 11:1-10
1 A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, a new shoot will grow from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 3:1-12
1 In due course John the Baptist appeared; he proclaimed this message in ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 15:4-9
4 And all these things which were written so long ago were written so ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 4th, 2016 Image

St. John of Damascus
December 4: Saint John Damascene has the double honor of ... Read More