First Sunday of Advent
Advent engages us in the mystery of the visible and invisible. It is a time to become
aware, to be receptive to the touch of the Spirit. It encourages the belief that our
humanity can be made godlike and God can be expressed through what is human. Advent
provides a vision of a creation that is whole and integrated –the peaceable kingdom where
the lion lies down with the lamb. It energizes us to live in hope, patient as we hold to the
belief that the teachings of Jesus can bring all people and all things into the unity and peace
of God’s reign. Our Advent reflections include the needs of this earth, the cries of the hungry,
the suffering, the poor and the homeless, the pain of all who are lonely and unloved, the
longing among all people for unity and goodwill, and the yearnings of earth’s people
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 comes, relentlessly and throughout life, with its words of hope and faith—shepherds and magi, crib and star, Emmanuel and glory—and stirs our hearts to pinnacles of possibility one more time.
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.
The days of Advent invite us to experience metanoia, to change our minds and hearts, to embrace the opportunity to change and to transform our vision of our world. They invite us to embrace new ways of loving the other and of being in the universe. They invite us to be open to concepts beyond our present understanding and envision how we can engage in the Great Work.
Gayle Desarmla, SP
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.
We are called to be witnesses of God’s by the love we extend to others; precursors of God’s 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.