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MESSAGE FROM MONSIGNOR HECTOR LOPEZ, Ecclesiastical Assistant of OMAEC, on the occasion of ADVENT.

Dear Alumni of Catholic Education:

The Church begins a new liturgical year. This one never coincides with the civil one. It begins with the Sunday closest to 30 November. There are four weeks of Advent, a word that comes from the Latin language, which means “something that is expected, that is at the gates”. And during this time the Church wants to prepare us for the coming of Jesus Christ into our world. But it is not the same thing every year, it is not that Jesus will come again and again every year, no! He has already come and appeared as one of us, lived in Judea, fulfilled the mission that the Father gave him to rescue us from sin and death and returned to the Father.

Indeed, he will return one more time and come to conclude the last cycle of this world, to establish the Kingdom of God once and for all. So those of us who follow Jesus believe that we are living our lives between two great comings of Jesus in our time and space: the first which has already happened, as we said above, and the second which will happen when he comes “to judge the living and the dead”. This does not mean that God will destroy his creative work, but that everything, absolutely everything will participate in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and then there will be new heavens and a new earth. It will be new life, life forever, life without end.

So Advent is the time when the Church wants us to learn to wait for what God has promised us. To wait with firmness, with certainty, precisely because that is what he sent us his Son to do, he has marked out the way for us, indeed, he is the Way, and what awaits us at the end is unimaginable.

Let us ask ourselves, dear friends, what does this transcendental Christmas have to do with the Christmas of commerce, of manipulative consumption, with the Christmas that has just begun in November amidst dazzling lights, frenetic noise, alienating propaganda? This is a Christmas without the Child-Son-of-God-and-of-Mary, without God made man, without anything to celebrate, to hope for.

No! For that God the Father would not have sent us his Son. Let us celebrate ADVENT, let us learn to wait, to long for God who visits us to stay with us, while we can stay with Him in His House.

Then it will make sense to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!