Pastors Desk: First Sunday of Advent / A
Pastor’s Desk 27th November 2016 - First Sunday of Advent / A
“The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
The Season of Advent invites us to touch into our deeper longings for life, light, truth and joy. It’s a short, compact season of just four weeks allowing us time for much needed reflection and prayer before Christmas begins.
The light and hope of Advent is symbolised by the precious flames from our Advent wreath which can shine Christ’s love into the darker parts of our lives over the past year whether this is bereavement, illness, depression or disappointment. We can be sure that Jesus will always accompany us through our doubts, difficulties and challenges.
The Augustinian writer, Father Kieran O’Mahony says that: “The Season of Advent encourages us and takes us back to our original longing and quest which brought us to God in the first place.”
It is really important that you take some time out during Advent to reflect on the reality of Christmas and what God’s mercy and forgiveness means for us. Our Advent Reconciliation Service which will take place closer to Christmas will provide one such opportunity to do this. I believe that we need to reclaim Advent as a much needed space to reflect on our faith. Today’s Gospel tells us that “The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” This reminds us that we are passing though this World and need to make the most of the gifts that God has given to each of us.
Perhaps you could attend Church more regularly this Advent, wherever you happen to be, and make it a time of prayer and reflective anticipation. If you’re sending Christmas Cards why not chose cards with a distinctly religious theme and message. Also, it is a time for giving and sharing with those in need. The St Vincent de Paul collection, which will take place in our churches in the coming weeks, will provide an opportunity to help the most needy.
On behalf of Father Gerry and the parish team, I wish you all a peaceful and Holy Advent.