Advent: Awaiting the Birth of HOPE

St. Patrick’s Church, Toronto

Once again, Advent has come upon us.  Summer has gone.  Autumn leaves have fallen.  I’m reminded of the refrain from Charlie Brown’s “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” Episode, “Christmastime is here…..”; not to mention being reminded of the often last minute quest for the perfect tree, but ending up with the “Charlie Brown tree”.  Yet, it’s all good!  We need to take a deep breath, and do our best to fight the store lines, and do our best to make this year another “Merry Christmas!”

Over the last few months, we have seen tangible movements in the political landscape across North America.  In Canada, we have re-elected our Prime Minister, while we see a shift and movement in the official opposition.  This of course will bring about changes in the politics within our country.  South of the boarder, we witness an ever-changing scene in the news of politics, that can often surprise us, or not surprise us.  

It was in the backdrop of an ever changing political landscape that our God chose to come and be with us. We are reminded of John’s call, a “voice crying out in the wilderness”. Preparing for the One who is to come. A King who would come to reign. When all is said and done, we all will stand before our God, who even in the mistakes we have made, calls us forth in Love to experience the fullness of plentiful redemption.  Regardless of our political leanings, his message of hope invites us to pause and wonder: What might God be doing through this new leadership and new government?  No one political party is perfect, but we have to sit with patient waiting, to understand how Good News might be brought to birth in any given situation.

Advent is a time of waiting.  It is a time of reflecting upon the “state of the union” of our hearts, and of our world – a world that is marred by violence and war, of anger and shame, of darkness and death.  Look around you and see, the darkness is present in each of our lives.  How do we dig deep to see the faint by present light growing despite the darkness? Where do we find our hope?

Over the next few weeks we will listen and reflect in our liturgies about the hope that is to be proclaimed through the words of the prophets – calling us to bind up the broken hearted, to heal, to bring good news to the oppressed, to prepare the way of the Lord, and to not be afraid.  This is our work during these days of waiting.  

Jesus was born into our world, yet only once.  Each year is an anniversary that renews our sense and acceptance of Jesus being born in our hearts.  Jesus has come!  We are sent out to be good news…. to be very good news…. to be hope.

Take the time you need in this Advent season to prepare your homes and hearts to receive the hope of our world.  As members of Christ’s body, when we live out this hope, Christ becomes more present in our world. Pray for our world leaders. Pray for the light that has come into the world to transform the very essence of decisions and judgments, of political power and of hatred.

Come Lord Jesus!

Fr. Santo Arrigo C.Ss.R.

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