With the beginning of the Advent Season, the Church recalls the coming of the Lord. Advent takes us into the darkness of our sin condition and directs us toward the dawn of the coming of the Light of the world – the Lord Jesus. In his light we look with hope to the promise of our restoration in the new creation which is emerging in our midst.
Advent means to prepare our minds and hearts for this new creation. There are three great figures presented to us for our inspiration and imitation: Isaiah, the hopeful prophet of expectation, who describes the coming of the messianic kingdom; John the Baptist, who prepares the way for the Savior by preaching repentance and reform; and Mary, who awaits, receives, and brings forth Christ for the world.
Mary looms even greater through Advent in the light of her Immaculate Conception (December 8). This feast reveals more than Mary’s preservation from sin from the moment of her conception. It presents us with the source of our hope for our struggle against the powers of darkness. We see the woman, the new Eve, whose Son, the “fruit of the promise,” will crush the head of the enemy (cf. Gn 3:15; Rv 12). Mary represents the birth of the new creation. This new creation will come forth in the glorious light of God, scattering all darkness of sin and death. In Advent we ponder the beginning of this new light.
Fr. Francis J. Marino, S.M.,
Founder, Anawim Community
Excerpt from The Anawim Way, Volume 13, no. 1. More information about The Anawim Way may be found here.