Tis the season of revival!
By Dc. Tom Cuskey, Editor
Happy New Year! No, not that New Year but our liturgical new year. The first Sunday of Advent, the new season, marks the beginning of a new liturgical year where once again (or perhaps for the first time for some) we will hear the Good News of Jesus Christ proclaimed, this year with focus on the Gospel of Matthew. The Catholic Sun will include a weekly reflection during Advent, in-print as our schedule allows and weekly on our website, thecatholicsun.com, and in digital updates. The series will feature different contributors each week.
I’ll start week one with a confession: I love the purple seasons, Advent and Lent. Especially Advent! There is an atmosphere about the season that sparks sacred themes to come to mind each year: preparing, watching, and waiting. Anticipating something wonderful. Renewal. The Old Testament reading from Isaiah this Sunday starts us on that journey saying “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” (Is 2:3)
Thousands of years have elapsed, of course, since those words were written, but imagine hearing them for the first time as an invitation to discover the Divine. We invite you to consider the Gospel this year as something very new, very fresh. Because we celebrate Advent and Christmas each year, we often lose some of the excitement and passion that our faith longingly calls us to. To seek that spirit, we must act, must pray deeply to experience a true revival of our faith as this season begins. Listen with fresh ears.
To that end, in 2022, we have embarked on a three-year National Eucharistic Revival. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) shares that this is a time of renewal of our belief in the True Presence of Christ in what was bread and wine, the essential truth of our Catholic faith. Think back to your own First Communion, your first experience of Eucharist. Our desire for Christ, to literally consume Him and allow Him to renew and revive our lives through this sacrament, can be recaptured if we open our hearts and lives to the Lord. Is there a better time than now, as Advent begins, to make some simple resolutions that will draw us closer to Christ this Advent?
Keep watch. Be patient. Prepare. Allow the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ to guide you and renew you this Advent season by making the Eucharist a central part of your worship experience. Don’t wait for Christmas, do it today. God bless you!