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What is Advent?

Advent is a four-week season in the Church calendar dedicated to anticipating the arrival, or “advent,” of Jesus of Nazareth, the long-awaited Messiah and King. Christians from many backgrounds celebrate this time with reflections on hope, peace, love, and joy. It’s a time to reflect on the unexpected nature of Jesus’ humble birth and join in the anticipation of when he will come again to reunite Heaven and Earth once and for all.

The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, we focus on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord at Christmas. During this last week, we reflect on the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming of Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but of present ones as well.

What Parts of the Bible Inform Our Understanding of Advent?

From the first story to the last, the Bible is full of narratives, poetry, prophecy, biographies, and personal letters that inform our understanding of Advent. When the Bible talks about humans waiting for the promised anointed King who would deliver them, it can help us connect with their anticipation (Amos 9:11-13). When we read about people choosing joy and hope in God’s promises despite their circumstances, the meaning of Advent can take on a deeper meaning (Isa. 9:6-7, 11:1-5; Luke 1:26-2:20). And when the New Testament talks about a second advent, the return of Jesus, we can join in that time of waiting, shared by Christians throughout history (Rev. 21:1-5).

The above information is adapted from the USCCB and the Bible Project.

Read more about Advent and Carondelet’s Advent Project through this year’s Advent Letter.

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