Reflection for the 1st Sunday of Advent

Weeds_edited_edited.jpg

My dear Friends:


Happy Advent!! Do you remember the lyrics from that song, Day by Day from Godspell! If I remember correctly, they are: Oh Dear Lord, Three things I pray; To see thee more clearly; Love thee more dearly; Follow thee more nearly, Day by Day, by Day...I guess this is essentially what these four weeks before the celebration of Jesus’ birth are all about.


The word ‘Advent’ can describe, and denote, a wide spectrum of interior preparation of the heart and soul! Actually, as I write this, I can still hear my Latin teacher’s voice! Advent, or its Latin form, Adventus means arrival. However, it is a composite of two Latin words: ‘ad/to’ which denotes motion towards, and ‘venire’ which means, to come! Dare I suggest that the English word Adventure (Latin Adventurus, with its roots also in the Latin advenire), is an invitation to each one of us to transform this Advent, with all the challenges, stresses and pressures of COVID19, into a spiritual Adventure!


Believe me, I know that this period of lockdown can be frustrating! It sometimes can feel as if we are suspended in time, living inside a computer game! We miss our loved ones, and the hugs, love and laughter experienced with our family and friends. However, during this Advent all these frustrations can be transformed into a wonderful, spiritual adventure. An ad-venire/ad-vent-ture in which day by day, we can see God more clearly; Love God more dearly; and Follow God more nearly! This is what ADVENT is about!


To do this, we possibly need to keep our mindsets positive, creative and hopeful! You have heard me speak of the contrast between the person who gets up in the morning and says, GOOD MORNING, God! And the other who gets up, and says, Good GOD, morning! Just think, in all of creation and human history, today has never happened before!


Perhaps, each day, during this advent, we can take a few moments in stillness with the God who loves us. We could rejoice with him in the blessings, talents and gifts we have received. We could then ask him to give us the generosity of heart to mirror that thanksgiving and appreciation of others’ gifts and talents to those around us. You know, to a large extent, we can also use this Advent to be artists of other people! Our words and actions can create masterpieces in those around us.


And so, my dear friends, allow this Advent to be a true spiritual adventure, of loving God and one another. How? By seeing more clearly; Loving more dearly; Following the God who loves us, more nearly. Enjoy the journey.


Remember me as Loving you,


 Fr. Antony