Today is the first Sunday of Advent and since the 900s AD, it has been considered as the beginning of the new liturgical year for most western churches. The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Advent Season for four Sundays before Christmas Day, starting with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) as the first Sunday and ends on Christmas eve (December 24).
The word Advent comes form the Latin word adventus meaning coming. For us Christians and Catholics, it also means the beginning. Every person I believe likes to have the chance for fresh starts and new beginnings. Every day should be considered a blessing as it allows us to start anew. The Season of Advent is the time for us to once again reflect on our relationship with Jesus. It is the time to "Be watchful! Be Alert!" as Jesus in today's gospel (Mark 13:33-37) tells his disciples. How do we do this? The answer is Love. Being vigilant and attentive is a natural consequence to those who love. Don't we as parents to our children know how it is to watch out and patiently wait for them? It is easy to do anything if we do it out of love. It does not have to be big things...St. Therese did only little things but she did it with love.
This Advent Season, let us ask ourselves...What are we watching out for? Are we paying attention to what it is that Jesus wants us for us in our lives? How have we responded to the call of "whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it unto me"? Do we love as Jesus does?