The first Sunday in Advent (last Sunday) marks the beginning of the Church’s liturgical year. The purpose of the ‘liturgical year’ is to remind us of the mission of Jesus – His life, death and resurrection.
As the word ‘advent’ suggests, this season of the Church’s year has to do with ‘coming’. During the four weeks of Advent, the Church’s liturgy invites us to prepare to celebrate Christ’s first coming into the world at Christmas. It also, however, directs our attention towards the second coming of Jesus into the world at the end of time. In fact, the biblical theme of Christ’s second coming (His ‘parousia’) is more prominent in Advent than in the Christmas theme.
There is a kind of overlap between the end and the beginning of the liturgical year in that both deal with the final victory of Christ. The implication seems to be that the basic fabric of Christian life – its end and its beginning – is hope in the fullness of Christ’s presence, which constitutes the completion of God’s plan of love for His human creatures.
The Son of God, who once came to this earth in great humility, will one day come again in great glory. His first coming was silent and secret and heavily disguised. His second coming will be in majesty and power. He came as a Saviour; next time He will come as a Sovereign.