Guys, I need to clarify something for those in the rear pews.
It's not Advent, yet.
There have been so many posts on my Catholic groups about Advent, Happy Advent, Advent is here... but it's not. Not yet.
Some people gently corrected them and others not-so-gently. Let's be kind though.
Christ the King
This past Sunday was the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, Christ the King. We recognize the kingship of our Lord Jesus and reflect on His next coming into the world. We reflect on ourselves and the state of our souls. Will we be ready? Will we be repentant?
We are certainly not worthy of heaven. It's only by God's grace and Christ's sacrifice that we may have a chance to enter into His heavenly kingdom. Certainly not by our own deeds, no matter how pious we try to be. It's all His mercy and Love.
So, then, we should show that same mercy to others. Let's be kind, practice forgiveness, charitable correction, and generosity. See? Charitable correction. We need to, out of love, correct our brothers and sisters in some cases. I refer to cases where their immortal souls are concerned. It's okay if they place the toilet paper upside down... sort of.
Let's be charitable though. Christ is Love and if we want Him to live in us, we must love others as He loves us.
The 3.1 Weeks of Advent
Thanksgiving (which itself does not determine Advent or Christmas, by the way) was as early as possible this year, but Advent is its latest.
That is to say, Advent is as late as possible since the fourth week happens on Christmas Eve.
Twenty-two days of Advent; that's it. This means, for those paying attention (and may Parish Priests instruct their congregations please), that Mass for the fourth Sunday of Advent cannot count for Christmas Mass. No going to Sunday Mass (morning or evening) and saying that's Christmas Mass for you.
My family will go the evening of the fourth Sunday of Advent as we go to Christmas Eve Mass, but work it out for your own family. Just be sure to recognize each Mass separately. They're quite different as parish attendants will tell you while they work to switch out the decor that day.
So, while secular folks are putting up Elf on the Shelf and visiting Santa at the mall, we aren't lighting that first Advent candle until next Sunday, December 3rd. I don't even have the living room cleaned out for decorations yet. Thankfully, I have a few more days.