A reflection for the first Sunday in Advent
By Sr. Elizabeth Langmead, MHSH
President, Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart
Our Advent season opens with Jesus saying to his disciples, “Be watchful! Be alert!” Again, at the end of our Gospel reading Jesus says, “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” Watch for what? Watch for who? This Advent season is like no other as we live in this time of Covid-19 with great unrest and division in our country and in the world. We wait for healing, we wait for peace, we wait for a vaccine. We focus our Advent waiting and watching on the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior. In faith, we trust that Emmanuel God is with us. In St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians we are reminded of the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus. We are reminded that as we wait, we are not lacking in any spiritual gift. We have all that we need to prepare. This time of Advent – this time before Christmas, we are given the invitation to deepen our awareness of God’s love for us and for all the world. Just as Mary prepared for the birth of Jesus, we are invited to ready that space within us for something new to be born. As we wait to welcome the Light of the world, we are called to be light for the world. What does that mean in your life? What would a deeper awareness of God’s love look like in your life?
We know that we come to discover our selves in and through our relationships. Advent is an opportunity to take some time, to make some space in our busy lives to sit in quiet and deepen our relationship with God. Tell God what it is you hope for, ask God to help you let go of whatever keeps you from loving with an open heart. Confide your fears and concerns to God who loves and cares for you more than you can imagine. Become aware of who you are becoming during this Advent season, not just about what you are doing. As you wait, you may want to invite Mary and/or Joseph to wait with you. Try to imagine their preparation, their hopes and dreams, their fears and concerns.
We pray, ‘Come Lord Jesus, come into our waiting, keep us alert and watching as we awaken anew to your presence within us and all around us. Thank you for this time and may we use it to deepen our commitment to follow you and be instruments of your peace.’