Skip to main content

Start of Advent

A Time "Full of Hope and Spiritual Expectation"

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 28, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today, when greeting the crowds in St. Peter's Square before he prayed the midday Angelus.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

With this Sunday Advent begins, an extremely evocative time from the religious point of view, as it is full of hope and spiritual expectation. Every time the Christian community prepares to remember the birth of the Redeemer, it feels a tremor of joy, which is communicated, in a certain measure, to the whole of society.

During Advent, the Christian population relives a double movement of the spirit. On one hand, it raises its gaze to the final goal of pilgrimage in history, which is the glorious return of the Lord Jesus; on the other, recalling his birth in Bethlehem with emotion, it bends down before the crib. The hope of Christians is directed to the future, but always remains well rooted in a past event. In the fullness of time, the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary, "born of woman, born under the law," as St. Paul writes (Galatians 4:4).

The Gospel invites us today to remain vigilant while awaiting the last coming of Christ. "Watch!" says Jesus, "for you do not know when the master of the house will come" (Mark 13:35-37). The brief parable of the master who left on a trip and of the servants, in charge of taking his place, manifests the importance of being ready to receive the Lord, when he comes unexpectedly. The Christian community awaits his "manifestation" with longing, and the Apostle Paul, when writing to the Corinthians, exhorts them to have confidence in God's fidelity, and to live so that when he returns he will find them "guiltless" (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:7-9) in the day of the Lord. For this reason, very appropriately, at the beginning of Advent the liturgy puts on our lips the invocation of the Psalm: "Show us thy steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation" (Psalm 84:8).

We could say that Advent is the time in which Christians must awaken in their hearts the hope of being able, with the help of God, to renew the world. In this connection, I would also like to recall today the Second Vatican Council's constitution "Gaudium et Spes" on the Church in the contemporary world: It is a text profoundly permeated with Christian hope.

I am referring in particular to Number 39, entitled: "New Earth and New Heaven." In it, one can read: "We are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:13). Nevertheless, "the expectation of a new earth must not weaken, but rather stimulate our concern for cultivating this one." We will rediscover the good fruits of our efforts, in fact, when Christ hands to his father his eternal and universal kingdom. May Mary most holy, virgin of Advent, enable us to live this time of grace watching and committed while awaiting the Lord.

[After the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in different languages. In English, he said:]

On the First Sunday of Advent I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for our Angelus prayer. May this season of joyful expectation and spiritual preparation for the Lord's coming be a time of sincere conversion and interior renewal for all Christians. Upon you and your families I cordially invoke God's blessings of wisdom, joy and peace.


The Vatican  , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000



Advent, Pope, Benedict, Angelus

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ministers of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, the prince of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 9 Saint of the Day

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More