Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming.” It was instituted by the Church to prepare the faithful for the coming of Christ. It is regarded as a joyous season because Jesus is coming.
The purple color associated with Advent is also the color of penance. The faithful should fast during the first two weeks in particular and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There are accessories that symbolizes Advent. The Advent wreath is traditionally made of fir tree branches knotted with a red ribbon and decorated with pine cones, holly, laurel, and sometimes mistletoe. It is an ancient symbol signifying several things. The crown symbolizes victory, in addition to its round form evoking the sun and its return each year. The four candles symbolize the four Sundays of Advent; usually the colors are three violet or purple, and one pink. The pink candle is lit on the Third Sunday of Advent, commonly known as Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. Some churches add a fifth candle, white color, known as the Christ Candle, placed in the middle of the wreath, which is lit on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Today’s Gospel narrates Jesus, telling his disciples that the coming of the Son of God was like the days of Noah, where days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. At that time, two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Jesus reminded his disciples: “Stay Awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”
As we joyfully wait for the coming of the Son of Man, let us empty our hearts so that the Savior who is commonly disguised in the poor, helpless, discarded, and hopeless, may find a place to lodge Himself in our hearts this Christmas.