1st Sunday Advent A
“I can see you’re not stocking up for Christmas,” remarked someone in the shopping market who looked vaguely familiar. I had two items for the check-out and he had a trolley full of stuff. It was the day after All Souls and the store dripped with Christmas cheer and décor. “I’m saving up for the big one” I said. It was afternoon and children were dodging about. “The big one? Are you doing something big for Christmas or maybe going somewhere exciting?” He asked. “No, just taking my time and taking life one day at a time,” I said. “Anyway, Father,” he said, “keep me in your prayers wherever you go.”
Yes, indeed, Advent is about going somewhere. It’s a real journey for believers, a journey inward maybe, a time of waiting and looking ahead. We light a candle in the darkness of December. It helps to guide us on our journey to Bethlehem of the soul. Everything this month can remind us of the season’s meaning: trees, lights, cards, carols, Santa hats, parties, homes lit up…. We need eyes to see and ears to hear that God wants to complete his creation, to finish what he began when he sent Jesus into the world. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus, Thy kingdom come…..
Advent is like the start of a new day. It’s still dark. We wonder if it’s time to get up. Slumber clings to us. Time to shake off the sleep of indifference, tiredness, tepidity, self-pity, and get with the new day’s agenda. Wardrobe. What to wear today? “Be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience” – Col 3:12. Good advice for any day. What are today’s tasks? “To live in the awareness of reality; to listen to the groaning of those who suffer; to know God’s love for life; to live more in touch with his presence. We need this kind of sensitivity to recognise Jesus” – Jose Pagola.
The morning sun is up and we need to stay awake for the business of the day: awake to what’s important – faith, family and friends; awake to the truth that God is with us even when everything seems to belie it; awake to a heart big enough to let go and forgive all the angers, bitterness and frustration we had in our lives. Advent invites us to be watchful and awake to what ultimately matters in life” – Ron Rolheiser. When Timothy Radcliffe was Master General of the Dominican Order he visited communities in war-torn Rwanda, Syria and Iraq, and spoke of his surprise to find in these places people with joy in their hearts. In such people he said he found “the subtle coming of God.”
Fr. QQ – 11/23/2022
Pope Francis: Advent is the season of remembering the closeness of God who came down to dwell in our midst.