By Jason Lillis, Family Life Coordinator
For the 1st Sunday in Advent

Advent is a time of year I have often taken for granted. It is a time of preparation, traditionally a time of self-purification and anticipation of the coming of Christ. For if Jesus came to us first at this point in the year, why not anticipate a return at the same time?  Yet even aided by lectionary readings that urge us to be spiritually watchful and alert, when I was growing up on the farm my siblings and I often had to tend to very practical tasks: helping keep our woodpile stacked and ready for the furnace, or making sure that the cows in the barn were fed every evening

As I look back to those Advents, there was something about each day’s toil that speaks to the ultimate reality of the Advent season: in the midst of months that are dark and cold, there are disciplines we need to develop to endure the winter chill, and steps to trod to keep a light ready against the long dark nights.

How can we within our families, our domestic churches, make ready this advent season to prepare for the return of Christ? To recapture that sense the early church had toward this holiday? For if Jesus once came to earth, the same Christ will do so again, and likely to do so – again – in a manner we could not possibly expect.

I invite you to keep watch with our community this Advent here at St. Francis of Assisi and online. Through the Family Life Twitter account, the St. Francis of Assisi Facebook page, or the St. Francis social media site, you can find daily activities, scripture passages, and prayers that you and your family can use as a virtual Advent Calendar to observe the season:

Family Life on Twitter: http://bit.ly/SFAFLTw

St. Francis of Assisi on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/FrancisAssisi

St. Francis of Assisi Social Media: http://stfrancisofassisi.ning.com/