These Sundays before Christmas prepare us “to adore the King Who is to come.” They reveal the expectation of the ancient world in its long night of spiritual darkness. They reveal our hope that a prophesied Savior will come. Immediately, in the Introit, we put our trust in God, Who will not deceive us, imploring him to “show Thy ways” where we may meet Him. For His coming, “nearer than we believed,” in today’s Mass, the Epistle warns us to “rise from sleep” and “cast off works of darkness” and put on “the Lord Jesus.”
The Gospel, by picturing how we must accept Christ as King of Justice at His second Advent at the end of the world, indirectly prevails upon us to prepare now for His first coming, as King of Mercy. Aware of the dangers ahead during this preparation, we invoke His Power in the Prayer, we offer this Sacrifice to be cleansed by His Power (Secret), and we promise to receive the Sacrament of His Mercy (Postcommunion).
Today is Feast of St. Andrew Apostle, brother of St. Peter, whose feast day traditionally has been regarded as opening of the Advent Season. St. Andrew is Patron of Scotland.
The Saint immediately recognized Our Lord and followed him. St. Andrew was crucified for the Faith. The Antiphon at Vespers tells us, ”One of the two who followed the Lord was Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, alleluia. His name is inscribed in the Canon of the Mass, and the priest makes a bow toward the Crucifix at its mention. Ask St. Andrew for courage to face the growing hostility of a this ever more secular society.