We looked to Bishop Ken's homily from the first Sunday in Advent - 2003 for inspiration for our worship space at the SS. Peter and Paul site of St. Dominic's in Saginaw, Michigan. The empty manger at the cross.
"The calendar that affects us today is the Catholic liturgical calendar. In that calendar, the New Year begins on the first Sunday of Advent, which we are celebrating today.
Our liturgical calendar revolves entirely around Jesus Christ. Every single year, we celebrate the whole story of Jesus Christ. We begin with the Advent and Christmas seasons, which revolve around his birth. The Christmas seasons ends with the baptism of the Lord by John the Baptist, and we begin his public ministry. So we start listening to Gospels telling us about the early days of his ministry. After that comes Lent, when we begin looking toward his arrest, his suffering, his death. Lent leads up to the three-day Holy Triduum, when we meditate on his passion, death, and resurrection. Then we have the fifty day Easter season when we celebrate the truth of his resurrection, leading up to Pentecost when we celebrate his pouring of the Spirit upon us. Finally, we spend the rest of the year proclaiming all that he did and said.
We do that every liturgical year, the same sequence. Then when it ends, we start over.
So here we are at the very beginning of another liturgical year - the first Sunday of Advent. There's an interesting thing about our beginning. Every year, on the first Sunday of Advent, the Gospel is about the end of the world. At first that might seem strange - to begin with the ending. On the other hand, that's the way we map out a trip. If we're trying to figure out how to get somewhere, we start with the ending - our destination. Then we figure out how to get there."