3 Dec 2010

Advent Reflection - What does Advent mean to me?

Advent is my favourite liturgical season. It is the season of watching and waiting, of hope and expectancy, of joy and peace. In a world of suffering and injustice, of war and famine, earthquakes and floods, the cry of the people of Israel becomes our cry. “O that you would tear the heavens open and come down to us. Comfort your people, come be with us.” We, too, who walk in darkness will see “a great light”, as we place our broken world and our broken hearts before the Lord to be transformed and changed this Advent season. (Isaiah)
We look for the small shoots of hope and love, praying that with His coming world leaders may once again, as foretold by Isaiah, “beat their swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks”. In our own country we see neighbour helping neighbour, volunteers braving the snow and ice to bring help to people isolated in this recent cold spell. We see workers from Trocaire, Concern and many other agencies struggling to bring relief to the poorest of the poor. The Word has become flesh, God is visiting His people and all made possible by the total self giving of a humble maiden—“Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”
In the words of Paul to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice...the Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything. The peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”


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