December 1 is the first Sunday of Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas. Advent is about preparing for God’s coming into the world in Jesus Christ. We remember how God prepared the people of Israel for Jesus’ first coming through the words of the prophets, and how God revealed to Mary and Joseph that they would serve as Jesus’ earthly parents. We recall how John the Baptist prepared the people of Israel for Jesus’ ministry by “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”. And, as well, we remember that Jesus will come again at the end of the age — an event which we need to look forward to, and prepare ourselves for.
Advent is a time for us to look toward the future with hope and anticipation. It’s also a time to take stock of ourselves and renew our commitment to God, by identifying and turning away from sinful attitudes and behaviors.
Advent is the first of the 6 seasons of the Christian Year. It always has 4 Sundays. The symbolic color for Advent is purple, symbolizing preparation and penitence.