Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Year

On Sunday the Church entered into the Advent Season. It is also the beginning of a new Liturgical Year.

Advent is known as the season of waiting. Perhaps some of you have been waiting to see if I would ever resume this blog! I do apologize for the delay. I think I can count on my two hands the days I’ve been home in the last two months. I’m looking forward to a long stretch at home this time (well, sort of!)

On Sunday the Pope in his Angelus address gave some interesting points on Advent that I’d like to share with you.

He said he wanted “to reflect on the theme of ‘waiting’ because it involves a profoundly human reality in which the faith becomes, so to say, completely one with our flesh and our heart.

Our whole personal, familial and social existence passes through this dimension of waiting. Waiting is something that is present in a thousand situations, from the smallest and most banal to the most important, which draw us in completely and in the deepest way. Among these, we think of a husband and wife waiting for a child; of waiting for a relative or friend who is coming from far away to visit us; …of waiting for a letter, or of receiving forgiveness.

Every one of us, therefore, especially in this season in which we prepare for Christmas can ask himself or herself: What am I waiting for? For what in this moment of my life, does my heart long? And this same question can be posed at the level of the family, of the community, of the nation. What are we waiting for, together? What unifies our aspirations, what do they have in common? In the time before Jesus’ birth the expectation of the Messiah—that is, of an Anointed one, a descendent of King David, who would have finally liberated the people from every moral and political slavery and have founded the Kingdom of God—was very strong in Israel. But no one could have imagined that the Messiah would be born from a humble girl like Mary, the betrothed of the just man Joseph. Not even she could have thought of it, and yet in her heart the longing for the Savior was so great, her faith and hope were so ardent that he was able to find in her a worthy mother. After all, God himself had prepared her before all time. There is a mysterious correspondence between the waiting for God and the waiting for Mary, the creature “full of grace,” totally transparent to the plan of love of the Most High. Let us learn from her, the woman of Advent, to live with a new spirit in our daily gestures, with the sentiment of a profound expectation that only the coming of God can fulfill.”

What are you waiting for, what are you longing for this Advent?

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