December 11, 2011
The season of Advent reminds us of two foundational truths of a Christian‘s faith-life. This season asks us to ponder these two truths, to pray about these two truths. Lots of our friends and lots of us use the Advent season for lots of reasons other than considering these two foundational truths.
The Christ…the Anointed One of God (Messiah)…longed for by the prophets of Israel…promised by the Lord God to his people…was given to Israel and to the gentile world in a way that was… unexpected…to say the least. This new Passover, from darkness to Light, this new Exodus, from slavery to freedom…was given to us by an unseen but loving Abba, in the birth of His Son. The birth of this person…this Jesus of Nazareth…and the life He lived…this is the first of the foundational truths of a Christian’s faith-life; and this remembrance has created the warmth and joy that all of us experience throughout the Advent season.
And the second foundational truth? This is something most of us do not associate with Advent. This truth is…that history will end. The cosmos as we know it will be “fulfilled”. Creation…that began in a blinding moment of creative light…will end. Time will end…as we know it. Christ the Lord will return to this earth, to our shared humanity; and we will be held accountable for the gifts given us (John 15.5).
Adventus…”the coming of”…begins a new liturgical year in the Church of Christ. The Catholic Church invites every person to ponder the joy of what was and the awesome reality of what will be. We will do this at Saint Brigid, as we prepare for the joy of the liturgies of Christmas. At the Vigil and on Christmas day, we will celebrate what was and we will pray for the grace to live for what will be. But what about our lives in the here & now? What about this life…right here, right now?
A disciple’s life is not simply a remembrance of what was or an expectation of what will be. We live the life of faith in the here and now, in the moment by moment reality of living: at work, in school, with friends, with family…together, alone. We live life in the in between time that humanity has been given, in between what was and what will be. This in between time is the gift of God…allowing for our conversion of heart. The Lord thirsts for that conversion…that we each turn to Him, to the Light. The Lord thirsts for our day-by-day yes…surrendering to the plan of God just as Mary did, in her yes to the gift of a son.
Please join me this Thursday, the 15th of December, at our Advent Penance Service. Priests of the deanery will gather at 7 PM and they will join Fr. Exumé and me as we offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation to all of you….if you acknowledge that you are in need of forgiveness…if you admit that you are in need of being reconciled.
Join me on the 15th at 7 PM. I know that I am in need of the forgiveness offered by the Lord. The gift of the Presence of the Lord, given in this Sacrament of God’s mercy, allows me to live in the in between…remembering with joy what was…and seeking to be ready for what will be.