Advent is truly a “wonder-filled” season. We look to the deep blue night sky…shimmering with a million stars, each one a reminder of the dawn of creation and of the promise of the long-awaited savior.
For me there is something about staring up at the night sky; something awe inspiring and spiritual in nature. It calls us to look beyond ourselves; to look more deeply into the miracle of creation; to look more deeply into the miracle of human life and of this planet we live on, and the awe inspiring, ever
expanding universe that this little blue planet spins within.
Advent is a time to “make time” -- in the midst of all the commercialism, in the midst of all of chaos that we call “the holiday rush” -- a time to slow down, to stand back and to reflect. To take time to allow the wonder of the Great Christmas Event to settle into our souls…to shake us loose from the ordinariness of our daily lives and allow ourselves to be wrapped up in the awe and wonder of the Incarnation.
The Incarnation: the fact that our God so deeply loves us and that God’s very self became human to manifest that love to us. That love is for you…just as you are! This amazing love is for all of God’s creation, for all peoples of the earth and for the very earth itself!
This Advent we find ourselves in the midst of enormous multiple humanitarian crises, as our sisters and brothers flee war and terror around the globe, they wander the earth in search of a home. As we reflect on the wonder and awe of God’s amazing love for the earth and all humanity let us raise our voices and work to make sure that these immigrants and refugees, and all who wander the earth in search of finding safety and finding “home,” that they will be taken in.
Let us not allow fear to rule our lives, but rather let the love of Christ rule our lives! Let us together make our Advent preparation time a time of work and prayer for peace...for an end to all forms of violence and assaults on human dignity.
Let us commit ourselves to not rush into Christmas but to “live Advent” and allow ourselves to become the gift that others most need. To become people of peace with open hearts for all
those who suffer and are in need, called and able, by Christ’s grace, to love them as we love ourselves. Then we will truly be ready to celebrate Christmas, when at last it arrives, with hearts full of love for Christ and hearts full of love for the least of our sisters and brothers.
Just as the Holy Family was made refugee by the tyrant Herod, so too, people of Palestine and Israel, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan and Ukraine, all sisters and brothers of ours fleeing violence and war, let us work to make sure they find peace and a free home land! How can I make sure my voice is heard amidst all the vitriolic anti-immigrant hyperbole?
Let us not allow the immensity of the crisis paralyze us and convince us we can do nothing, for in Christ we can do all things. Let us ask ourselves, what can I do this Advent to help those most in need?
As I open my heart to the love of God this Advent season can I also open it to the hungry and the unhoused and speak up on their behalf? How can I reach out to the lonely and forgotten
who have no one to care for them or help them?
This year let our Advent gift to the world be a promise to work for and pray for peace. What could be of greater value for a world plagued by religious and political divisions and torn apart by terrorism and war. Through prayer and action on behalf of the poor, the suffering and the least among us, let us “prepare the way of the Lord”! And in this Advent season let us pray for the grace of Christ to become more loving, kind and generous persons seeking to accept others as they are, just as God accepts them. And let us seek to become instruments of healing in our families, our community, our schools and our world.