First Sunday of Advent

“Be watchful! Be alert!” are the first words with which Mark greets us at the beginning of this new year of the church. They are also the last words spoken by Jesus in Mark’s gospel (Mark 13:37) before the vortex of violence begins to suck Jesus into the passion and death that he will conquer by his resurrection. So even as we begin Advent, we are reminded we are reminded of the paschal mystery of Christ, the hub of the liturgical year.