Today, we begin a new liturgical year in the Church’s cycle. It is year C and every Sunday during year C; we read the Gospel of Luke on Sundays with a few Sundays within the year when the gospel of John appears. The liturgical year begins with a season called Advent which means, “coming.” This coming is unique; it is the coming of the Lord that was prophesied by Jeremiah in the first reading today, “Behold the days are coming when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” (Jer 33:14) These words from the Prophet are giving
hope and consolation to the people. And so, the first Sunday of Advent begins with a hopeful note, a reminder of our hopeful waiting for the Lord’s coming. We look back to his coming at a historical point in time and his coming at the End of Time.
Advent par excellence is, therefore, the season of hope. Every year, this essential spiritual attitude is re-awakened in our hearts as we prepare to celebrate the feast of Nativity. Prophet Jeremiah reassures us that God is faithful and he will fulfill his promises, and from the line of David, honesty and integrity will come. Let us meditate on hope, its depth, and rediscover it.
At the same time, let us be awake to God’s presence now. He is present in our life events and struggles, joys, and sorrows. Are you going through emotional pain and feeling like you are sinking deep and losing the meaning of everything? Are you experiencing struggles in your love relationship, family, and work? Are you falling into despair because of the many misfortunes and unexpected results of your actions and other factors? These and much more can deny us hope and lead to isolation from others.
Thank God, Advent season comes to revive us, sustain us and inspire us never to give up. Jesus in the Gospel invites us to ‘look up and raise our heads because our redemption is near.’(Luke 21:28) Be filled with hope and gratitude for every new day and thank God for it. Wait for another new day with hope in the Lord. Be filled with thanksgiving and a cheerful heart, and don’t live with a crushed spirit. Christ is coming to meet us in our brokenness. While we wait for Him, the Psalmist encourages us to remain faithful on His path. (Psalm 25)
Christian Action This Week:
Light the first candle of hope in your life and probably in your family. Make a small Advent wreath in your heart and start slowly to construct a crib (crèche) in your heart. Then, ask St. Josephine Bakhita, a model of hope, to pray for you.
Joy and Peace.