Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Advent is a time to hope
Sisters of Mercy, Redlands
The word Advent brings to mind the familiar and comforting words we associate with this season – get ready, hope, promise, the Lord is near, a light to all people, O Come Emmanuel – are the words we love during the season preparing us for Christmas.
Our Church, through its sacraments and seasons, constantly reminds us of God’s gracious loving care for us. In Advent’s first Sunday this year we hear the prophet Jeremiah’s prayer: “Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day.” In our lives, we sometimes think we are far from the path God has marked out for us. We feel rather hopeless, and doubtful. Here Jeremiah tells us “to wait all the day.” God’s love and care are always there and the emphasis on hope during Advent is a constant reminder of this fact.
The Gospel reading from the first Sunday of Advent (Luke 21:25-28) sounds ominous, almost threatening but again we are reminded of God’s plan. “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” As we walk through these weeks of Advent, may we know God’s love and care.
God’s love and care is a constant theme for us who visit Juvenile Hall on Tuesday evenings. When we hear the deeply felt longing from the young people to know that God loves them, it strikes us how much we take our faith for granted. This awareness helps us to look inward, ourselves, in gratitude for God’s unfailing love that lights our way.
May this be a season for us to light the way for others in our families and communities as we prepare for Christ’s coming at Christmas. Then we will truly “ready the way of the Lord.”
This reflection was originally published in the diocesan Office of Small Faith Communities’ Seasons of Faith resource for Advent and Christmas. To access the entire resource visit the Office of Small Faith Communities.