May Advent hope lift you to peace!
Advent season is special for all Christians because, as the first reading expresses, we long to experience God. We need God’s help to turn away from sin and to be freed from things that weigh us down. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us to watch! He means that we have to keep God foremost in mind and be on our toes to recognize his presence and action around us. Advent is a time of hope and a time of preparation! I have been thinking about the event of the Annunciation and how Mary and all the Jewish people must have been hoping that God would deliver them from oppression and sadness due to the Roman occupation of their land. We are told that Mother Mary made the effort to be ready for God’s presence and action by reflecting on God’s Word and by prayer. Advent is a time when we are invited to follow Mary’s example and like her, we too will experience God’s love and strength more deeply in our lives.
As you know, Advent means “coming” which tells us that God is no doubt up to something! I know that this time of year we are usually up to something too! In fact, perhaps too many somethings! I can’t think of a time when we are busier than Advent. It is important for us to gather, connect and appreciate the joy of our families and friends. While we are doing that, Jesus reminds us to “watch” for something special that is from God. Some of our family of faith are perhaps closer to Mary this month because they are expecting the gift of a new life in their homes. For some of us, this is the most difficult time of year because we may feel alone or experience the pain of loss for loved ones. As we journey into this special season, we can watch for ways that we welcome Christ more deeply into our lives and also make Jesus known and loved like never before. May God bless you all! +++ Fr. Peter