27 November 2011

Swaddling-clothes and Shroud


The season of Advent has a unique sense of mystery all its own.  We know it best as that time of waiting before the Solemnity of the Nativity, but it contains a much more comprehensive expectation than mere preparation for Christmas.  Truly, it collects the many strands of our faith, and weaves them into one fabric which is both lovely and awesome, for during Advent the cradle rests in expectation of the cross; the child Redeemer speaks of the coming Judge resplendent in the clouds; the awaited birth of Jesus is the beginning of His passion; the swaddling-clothes prepared by the expectant Mother foretell the shroud of Christ’s burial.  Perhaps at no other time of the year is the totality of Christ’s work put before us so clearly as it is at this time of Advent.