First Sunday of Advent
Advent engages us in the mystery of waiting, the balance of the visible and invisible,
the tangible and intangible, dormancy and life. For us, this patience in paradox is the
experience of Advent. It is the paradox that our humanity can be made godlike
and God can be expressed through what is human. Silence and patience are needed.
There must be time to become aware, to be receptive to the generative touch of God’s
Spirit in the deep places of ourselves. It is the vision of a creation that is whole
and integrated – where our spirits are set free—our blindness, deafness, stumbling and
violence are healed. We live in hope, patient even as we live in the promise that Jesus
Christ will bring all people and all things into the unity and peace of God’s
reign. We bring into our Advent reflections the needs of this earth, the cries of the hungry,
the suffering, the poor and the oppressed, the pain of all who are lonely and unloved, the
longing among all for unity and goodwill, and the yearnings of earth’s people for peace.
What does Advent mean for you? Is it just a time to do frenzied Christmas shopping?
What is the meaning under all this?
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the
house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous
Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by
which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”
The season of Advent restores … a hope which does not disappoint for it is founded on God’s Word. A hope which does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! Let us think about and feel this beauty.
Advent is the spiritual season of hope par excellence, and in this season the whole Church is called to be hope, for itself and for the world. The whole spiritual organism of the mystical body assumes, as it were, the ‘color’ of hope.
Pope Benedict XVI
If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.
Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac
One of the essential paradoxes of Advent is that while we wait for God, we are with God all along, that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.
Michelle Blake, The Tentmaker
We are called to be witnesses of God’s by the love we extend to others; precursors of his justice by our unfailing commitment to what is right and good; lamps reflecting the light of God’s Christ in our forgiveness, mercy and compassion; harvesters of souls through our humble and dedicated servanthood.