The Church is adventing all the way to Christmas as it leads us through preparing for, awakening to, caring about and daring to let Christ be born in us.
In the recent apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis treats the new evangelization just like a new birth.
Pope Francis points to three classes of people who need evangelization so that Christ might be born again and again in our world:
First, Jesus must be born in the hearts of those who are Christians in name but not in their lives. They call themselves Catholic but their lives bear no fruit because they haven’t accepted the demands of being a Christian.
Then, Jesus must be born in the absent Catholics, those who don’t show up to worship or share life with us although they call themselves Catholics.
Finally, the freshest and most exciting aspect of giving birth to Christ is to receive the new born in Christ from the far away regions of humanity. The missionary activity of the Catholic Church leads those who are hearing the Gospel for the first time to the Christ child in the manger.
The Church is advancing through a new Advent this year. The exhortation of Pope Francis points the way for the Catholic Church as it advances the message of the Gospel.