29 November 2017

Catholics are called to live Advent in their everyday life

On December 3, the New Liturgical Year begins with Advent. In this first week, Catholics are invited to prepare for the glorious coming of Christ and the Christmas of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Liturgies

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Advent marks the beginning of the Liturgical Year. During this time, the faithful are called to await the coming of Christ in glory and to follow a journey of preparation for Christmas.

On the first Sunday, the Liturgy highlights the figure of the prophet Isaiah, who announces the coming of the Messiah.

Fr. CARLOS MOLINA, ofm
Basilica of the Annunciation - Nazareth
"Isaiah, the great prophet, speaks of the Annunciation. He is aware that the people of God raised their voice by asking the Lord for a sign. He knows that often times they were not faithful to their God, but they still cried, they still raised their arms, asking for deliverance and asking for the Messiah so much awaited by them. They asked God for a master plan and the master plan is the Son of God.”

And the Son of God, born in the cave of Bethlehem, continues to visit His people today. Those who do not recognize Him present in the Sacrament, are unnecessarily celebrating His first coming and they are in vain waiting for the second one!

Sister SANDRA CASTOLDI
Congregation of the Orsoline Sisters of St. Charles
"Although every year Christmas returns and it may appear repetitive, Advent time, on the contrary, is something new every year, because the arrival of those we love is always new. Our hearts are filled with joy when we are waiting for someone who is dear to us, for someone whom we love. Instead of preparing things, I try to prepare my heart, in the desire to see the Lord, to meet Him."

To receive the Lord who will come soon, the faithful prepare themselves in their daily lives. This is the case of Sissi, an Italian woman who lives in the Holy Land!

Sissi Mattiazzo
Assistant Secretary - Custody of the Holy Land
"Even though I am away from home, I prepare myself for Christmas in the same way I used to do it at home. I embrace every opportunity that life offers me. The friars thought about gathering at Gethsemane, to do small lectio readings. I will be present at events here, in the Holy Land, like the entrance of the Custos to Bethlehem and, needless to say, I am preparing myself by intensifying my daily prayer.”

Sara serves as a volunteer in the Custody Library. In this environment she is about to follow her own journey toward Christmas.

Sara Calabrese
Volunteer– Library – Custody of the Holy Land
"I am definitely preparing by trying to welcome all the people who come to the Library, as part of my work, as if they were pictures of that baby Jesus who is about to come. So, I just welcome them with a smile, remembering the Poor Child who is about to arrive.”

Experiencing Advent in the land where Jesus was born has a special meaning.

Sissi Mattiazzo
Assistant Secretary - Custody of the Holy Land
"On the one hand, it is very much like home, because at home we do the same things they do here. On the other hand, the weather is different and here, we hope to live the so-called fifth gospel, visiting the Holy Places and listening to what these places 'tell' us.”

Sara Calabrese
Volunteer – Library – Custody of the Holy Land
"It is really special to be here during this season, because I really feel I am living Advent in a different way and I feel closer to God: I am very happy to be here!"