While Americans do not celebrate Advent as do many European countries, we still await the coming of the Christ Child. We count the days with often a frenetic preparation, yet in our preparation to get to the Birth, we seem to forget the month and weeks and days before this event. Jesus did not just show up one starry night in a manger.
He came into this world like any other baby, which meant His Mother had grave concerns dealing with her Newborn, far from her home and family and most probably without supplies a new mother needs.
The feast heightens the anticipation of Christmas and makes the last few days of Advent unique with opportunities to meditate on what Mary must have been pondering in her heart.
Last Advent we wrote of the Feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Catholic Feast that was originally celebrated in Spain. It is not on the universal calendar, but is still commemorated on December 18 in some places such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland, as well as in a few religious orders. The Dominicans honor Mary under the title of "Our Lady of the Expectation”.
This Advent, let us ourselves ponder how we can better prepare in this time of waiting. Let us walk with the Mother of God through her pregnancy and labor, welcoming her Child in a new and deeper way into our hearts.
There are many images portraying this mystery for us to meditate on this Advent, so I will make it the focus of these Blogs.