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”, it is 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 fact that our God so deeply loves us and that God’s very self became human to prove 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 earth itself!
This Advent we find ourselves in the midst of one of the largest humanitarian crisis in recent memory as we struggle through this pandemic; while at the same time, our sisters and brothers flee war and terror around the globe and 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 “home”, be taken in.
Let us hold in our hearts in our prayer all of those suffering from COVID-19, for all of those on the front lines -- the nurses and doctors and cleaning staff and all of the “essential employees” who put themselves at risk by showing up for work so that we can have the basic needs of our lives met.
Let us not allow fear to rule our lives, but rather the love of Christ! 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 and racial injustice. Let us commit ourselves to not rush into Christmas but to “live Advent” and allow ourselves to become the gift that our sisters and brothers most need. To become people of peace with open hearts for all those who suffer and are in need; able to love them as we love ourselves.
Even though we may be fearful and anxious, lonely and de-pressed because of the pandemic let us take time to sit with Jesus the Christ and ask for the gifts of peace and gratitude in our hearts…in the very midst of the terrible chaos of this pandemic. Then we will truly be ready to celebrate Christmas when at last it arrives with hearts full of love for Christ and full of love for the least of our sisters and brothers. Happy Advent!