In her liturgical cycle, the Church, to whom God has committed the work of our sanctification, has instituted a method of holiness whose aim is to make our souls like Christ himself, for, as St. Paul tells us, the Father has predestined us “to be made conformable to the image of His Son” [Rom. 8: 29]
Every year, therefore, the Church keeps the different anniversaries connected with Our Lord’s life to enable us to take part in al His mysteries, to offer them in homage to Almighty God at Holy Mass, and even more and more to experience their salutary effects within our souls.
The Church, whose petitions are always heard by Almight God, asks for us the Graces which correspond to the different Feasts which she keeps. For this reason it is of the greatest importance that we should recognize the characteristic spirit of each season of the Church’s liturgical year.
If we permit ourselves to be guided in this way throughout the whole year by our Holy Mother the Church, we shall accomplish our sanctification most methodically and we shall glorify God, as the psalmist says, “according to the greatness of His power.”
In the Roman liturgy we find that Advent lasts four weeks. The First Sunday of Advent is always the Sunday next to St. Andrew’s Day, which is kept on November 30th.
With the Church at the very opening of the liturgical cycle, let us put all our confidence in Jesus, who at Christmas and at the end of the world will reward those who yearn for Him and await Him.
“Those who trust in Him shall not be confounded” [Ps. 24: 2]
The whole of the Mass this day prepares us for the double coming of mercy and justice. This is why St. Paul tells us to cast off sin in order that, being ready for the coming of Christ as our Savior, we may also be ready for His coming as our Judge.