A 1st Week of Advent Scoop


(Credit: Hawaii Catholic Herald)

‘Tis the season, my friends. This Sunday marks the first week of Advent in most Christian churches. In this article, you’ll find a reflection of this Sunday’s Gospel, some ideas for what the Gospel’s message means for us, and a look at the current Christmas spirit level at Montrose.

Gospel Kickoff: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch” (Mark 13:33-34).

This Gospel gives us our Advent mission right off the bat. It’s a time to prepare for Jesus’ birth…and more. See, it’s Jesus telling his disciples to “be watchful… you do not know when the time will come.” This must mean something more than for Jesus’s disciples to watch for his birth because he’s already there. This Gospel reminds us of the dual purpose of the Advent season. Advent most certainly gives us time and Mass readings to prepare spiritually for our celebration of Christ’s birth, but it also reminds us of the very real and physical Christmas that we’re all preparing for: Christ’s Second Coming.

The reality of the non-symbolic Christmas is embedded in the word itself. “Christmas” is a compound of “Christ” and “mass.” Therefore, Christmas is really a reminder of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist at Mass. Advent reminds us to look forward to Christ physically coming to earth and to forge ahead on our journey to heaven. 

How to actively live Advent?

Well, after all that deep diving, how do we actually practice Advent? In the Gospel parable, the man places each servant in charge of the home with “his own work.” We, the servants, can best celebrate Advent by doing our particular work — whether homework, family duties, extracurriculars, or a job — as people who are anticipating the coming of our Savior. Because we are! We may spend Advent growing in love to receive Christ on Christmas Day. Everything from the next dish you have to wash to the massive science project you left to the last minute is an opportunity to celebrate Advent.

And finally, a Montrose Christmas spirit snapshot:

If we really want to be ready for the Big Birthday, then we’ve got to talk about Christmas music. A recent survey quizzed Montrosians on their level of readiness for Christmas carols among other aspects of the holiday, and you may not be surprised to hear that there’s a range of strong opinions on when to bust out “Carol of the Bells.” As of the beginning of Thanksgiving week, 32% of respondents gave Christmas music a 5 on a scale of 1-5 (5 being totally ready for Christmas music). 26% gave carols a 1. Fewer respondents gave anything from a 2-4 — apparently we’re pretty set on whether to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving or not. On the other hand, only 18% of respondents ranked their readiness for Advent as a 5, but 25% gave enthusiasm for Advent a 4. 40% are 5-level ready for presents, and only 5% haven’t given Christmas presents any thought, giving it a 1. Finally, of all Christmas traditions on the survey, we’re most ready to deck the halls, as 45% gave readiness to see and put up decorations at a 5.

Each week in Advent, expect a Looking Glass update on this season of preparation — a Gospel reflection, practical ways to celebrate Advent, and, of course, a Montrose Christmas spirit snapshot.

Anna Sheehan ’21