In this throwback podcast from 2016, Radio Show callers share what they heard at Mass on the First Sunday of Advent.
The first caller talks about experiencing his first faith-filled Advent and Christmas after rediscovering his faith this year. His takeaway from the First Sunday of Advent is to “Stay awake.” And the idea that we don’t know when Christ is coming or when our earthly lives will end. So, it’s important to stay alert and wake back up at this time of year.
“The fact that ideally, any of the seasons of the years or holidays, feast days — anything we focus on or celebrate during those times are elements of our faith walk that we should be doing all the time. But God is wise, and the Church, in her wisdom and nourishing like a mother, realizes our imperfection as humans. So, we need seasons, special feast days, and holidays, and we need a reboot, like restarting your computer. If you never turn your computer off, after a few months, it’s like ‘What’s going on? Something’s weird. Let me restart it.’ … If we keep doing what we’re doing — even if we’re not overtly sinning or falling away from the Church — we do need, as the Church wisely gives us, a restart or a reboot.”
A second caller talks about the names her pastor gives each candle on the Advent wreath. The first week was called “Attend” (like “Pay attention”) to emphasize the importance of paying attention to the readings and what’s going on in the world, what parishioners are doing and saying.
Another caller asks about the Advent readings and some of the “doom and gloom” that he’s hearing. Father Dave says that the Advent readings are really talking about two different comings of Christ but in the reverse order.
“At the beginning of Advent, we talk about the end of time and Christ coming at the end of time. As we get closer to the end of Advent, we talk about the coming of Christ that happened 2,000 years ago in history. So, we do it a little backward. The idea is that when we say ‘Come, Lord Jesus,’ We mean it on multiple levels. We are preparing for the anniversary of that coming that happened millennia ago, but we’re also saying ‘Come, Lord Jesus,’ for the second coming. … In the hopeful note of Advent, we do, over the four weeks of Advent, transform in the tenor of the readings to be a little bit less about the second coming of Christ, which by its nature sounds doom and gloom, and we transform to really looking forward to that coming of Jesus that happened thousands of years ago in the birth at Christmas.” (Original Air 11-28-16)