Preparing in Advent for more than Christmas

Dear Helias Catholic family,

Yesterday, the first Sunday of Advent, is the start of the liturgical year in Western Christianity. The word advent is adopted from the Latin “adventus,” meaning “coming.” Most of us may already know about Advent. However, one part of Advent that often escapes us is the emphasis on not only reflecting on the birth of Jesus but also reflecting on Jesus’ anticipated return. Admittedly, I have never given much thought to the Second Coming of Jesus as part of Advent.  

Like many people, I have grown up in a world that traditionally focuses on the celebration of Christmas and all that encapsulates. Additionally, the secular world’s growing stranglehold on the Christmas season has challenged many of us to reorient our focus to what the season of Advent is all about. Challenging as it can be at times to focus on preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it is understandably more challenging during the season of Advent to focus on the Second Coming. Yet that is what the Church calls us to do over the next four weeks of Advent.

The notion of the Second Coming of Jesus conjures up any number of apocalyptic images for me — images that I have never associated with Advent and Christmas. I hope to take some time in the coming weeks to sit quietly in prayer and reflect on exactly what the Second Coming of Christ means to me. Am I ready if Jesus came today? Is any one of us ever truly ready? What will it look like and feel like when Jesus comes again? 

My prayer for each of us is that we take time to reflect on the great gift of the birth of Jesus. I pray, too, that we take the time to prepare our souls for the reality that Jesus will come again. 

Live, Jesus, in our hearts — forever!

John Knight
Helias Catholic High School President

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In this blog, Helias Catholic President John Knight and guest writers share updates about ongoing work to advance Helias Catholic High School’s mission to provide excellence in Catholic education and vision to build a community of saints and scholars for Christ. Please send responses, ideas, questions and friendly greetings to Mr. Knight at