Today we begin a new Church year, we move to Year A to Year B of the three year cycle. Our masses will be slightly shorter as we read from the Gospel of Mark who has a succinct writing style, but we have to pay closer attention or we might miss his message entirely.
Today also marks the beginning of Advent, a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. During advent we remember the FIRST coming of Christ at his birth in Bethlehem, but we also focus on the SECOND coming when he returns at the end of time, to judge the people of the world. St Bernard of Clairvaux (clair vo) identified a third, ongoing coming of Christ, into our lives, each and every day. These three encounters with Christ are discussed in today’s readings.