Advent is a time of purification so that Christmas doesn’t become a worldly celebration, said Pope Francis at the morning Mass of December 3, 2018, held in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
On the day after the beginning of Advent, the Holy Father meditated on this liturgical season, which is the occasion to “purify the spirit to make faith grow.” Sometimes Christians get “used to the faith,” forgetting its “vivacity” he pointed out in his homily, reported by “Vatican News.” “When we are used to it, we lose the strength of the faith, the novelty of the faith, which is always renewed.”
Advent has “three dimensions,” past, present and future stressed the Pontiff. It is first of all “the purification of the memory . . . It isn’t the Christmas tree that is born” but “Jesus Christ . . . the Lord . . . the Redeemer who came to save us . . . We always have the danger, we will always have in us the temptation to make Christmas worldly — when the feast ceases to be contemplation — a beautiful family celebration with Jesus at the center — and begins to be a worldly celebration: shopping, presents, this and that . . . and the Lord remains there, forgotten.”
Advent also helps to “purify hope,” to prepare oneself “for the definitive encounter with the Lord,” he continued. “Because that Lord who came there, will return, He will return! He will return to ask us: “How did you spend your life? “ It will be a personal encounter. Today we will have a personal encounter with the Lord in the Eucharist, and we can have a personal encounter with the Christmas of 2000 years ago . . . but, when He returns, we will have this personal encounter with Him. “
Finally, “the third dimension is the most daily: to purify the watch. Watch and prayer are two words for Advent because the Lord came into history at Bethlehem; He will come at the end of the world and also at the end of the life of each one of us. But He comes each day, at every instant in our heart, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,” concluded Pope Francis.