The Advent season this calendar year begins today, December 01, 2019. The day is called the First Sunday of Advent or Advent Sunday and is the first day of the liturgical year in the Western Christian churches. The theme of readings and teachings during Advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. With the view of directing our thoughts to the first coming of Jesus Christ as savior and to his second coming as judge, special readings are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent.
Because it is Advent and Advent is a time of preparation, it brings with it its own themes: darkness and light, sin and repentance, death and eternal life. We obviously want to be ready for the end of time, we want to live lives which will be looked upon favorably should that end of time come, and so, we live in the knowledge that there will be an end of time – a time when the Son of Man will be coming, not to frighten us to live "good lives" but to be joyful that there is, indeed, eternal life in God's kingdom after our pilgrimage here on earth. The main reason that the readings of today have been chosen by the Church is expressed in the lines “Keep awake, therefore…” and “Now” is “the moment for you to wake from sleep."
Let us rejoice then, and not panic over the readings today as so many have. We are the people of the light, we are the people who put on Jesus, and we are the people that he will come for, whenever that may be. Let this sustain us, let this strengthen us, let this be the way we live our week this week and the rest of the year.