In his recent Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis, amidst his recovery from bronchitis, shared a profound message for the first Sunday of Advent.

Delivering his address from the Casa Santa Marta due to health precautions, the Pope’s words, read by Bishop Paolo Braida, emphasized the essence of vigilance in the Christian life, especially during Advent.

Pope Francis shared that vigilance, often misconstrued as fear-driven watchfulness, is, in fact, an anticipation filled with love and hope. Drawing from the Gospel, he likened this vigilance to servants eagerly awaiting their master’s return, not out of fear, but out of a deep affection and eagerness to welcome him. This, the Pope highlighted, is the spirit with which Christians should await Jesus’ arrival at Christmas.

The Holy Father’s message was not just spiritual but also practical. He urged the faithful to prepare their hearts, akin to preparing a house for a cherished guest, making it “orderly and hospitable.” He encouraged sharing with those in need, not only in material terms but also through offering time, attention, and concrete assistance.

Pope Francis further suggested that Advent is an ideal time for deeper engagement in prayer, reading the Bible, and embracing the sacrament of reconciliation. He underscored the importance of not getting distracted by trivial matters and maintaining a heart “alert, eager for Him, awake and ready, impatient to meet Him.”

Pope Francis’ message for this Advent season is a call to a vigilant yet joyful anticipation of Christ’s coming, marked by charity, prayer, and a welcoming heart. Let’s embrace this reminder that a vigilant waiting that is rooted in love and hope, not fear.

Pray as we begin the Advent season!


Photo credit: A and D Photography /
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