It was the start of advent on 3rd December 2017, also the beginning of the new Liturgical Year (Year B) in the Catholic Church. The faithful flocked to churches and chapels with much anticipation, in preparation for the coming Christ the Messiah, at Christmas.
Advent this year will be shorter than previous years, as the fourth Sunday of Advent falls on the eve of Christmas. Literally, Christmas is only 3 weeks away.
In his homily, parish priest Fr. Edwin Peter quoted Jesus saying to stay awake. The call to stay awake led to the topic of hope. Last year being the Year of Mercy, the celebrant went on to say that this year, we are called to be Disciples of Hope, the same theme to be carried on next year. “To stay awake means hope. The time we lose our spirit or our will; we are called to give hope, to be disciples of hope” added Fr. Edwin, who also quoted several areas where we can all learn to be hopeful.
“Once you achieve to be people of hope, you live in Resurrection. Have hope that Jesus will come again. Hope is something human, it is a virtue; faith, hope and charity. Lift your spirits. When we are in despair, do not lose hope. Always keep hoping and going in God. Don't give up, but instead keep hope alive. Even when in your old age, do not give up, keep on going” he continued, as he addressed the RCIA candidates, who were present.
Besides lighting the candle of Hope (at the Advent Wreath) today, Fr. Edwin drew attention to the Society of St. Vincent De Paul (SSVP) of the parish, that has put up names and requests. He invited the congregation to come forward and touch the lives of those who have placed their names there, as they too are waiting in hope.
After homily, the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens then begin. Fifteen candidates were accepted, and are now known as Catechumens.