Sunday 2nd December was the first Sunday of Advent, when the Church initiates its liturgical year. The community of the Seminary celebrated this occasion at mid-day of Saturday 1st December, through the Advent Proclamation. This is an annual celebration which includes the Midday Prayer, reading from the Scriptures, (its main aim being that of urging the community to prepare itself for the coming of Christ), and the presentation and blessing of the icon that will accompany the community during the coming year. Following a number of invocations, the Rector announces the changes in the programme of the community. These changes, which will be effected during the days of Advent, remind us that these days are special.
The reading was taken from the Epistle to the Ephesians (5,8-20). The Rector meditated on the lines: “Keep careful watch over your conduct. Do not act like fools, but like thoughtful men. Make the most of the present opportunity.” The Rector showed us that a person who is ‘thoughtful’ makes the most of the present opportunity; he takes every opportunity and makes of it an opportunity of grace.
Then the icon was presented to us and blessed. The icon, written for this year by Loreta Grech, is inspired by the reading: “I do believe! Help my lack of trust!”, taken from Mk 9,24. The whole context is in Mk 9,14-29. The reading shows the weakness of the disciples as a result of their lack of faith, together with the help of Jesus to the father who begs Him to heal his son, possessed by a bad spirit (cfr., Mt 17,14-21, Lk 9,37-42).