Looking for Christ in Advent
Dear Parish Family,
As Advent begins, we are, of course, conditioned to look ahead to December 25, as the birthday of Jesus, even though the true date of his birth is unknown. however, scholars agree that this particular date was chosen in the fourth centuryy to coincide with the solstice on the old Roman calendar. (hint, hint "Sun" = "Son"). Also we can see the date of Jesus' birth connected to the sun since in that Roman calendar, December 25 was the shortest day of the year and day by day after the 25th the light increased.
In John 8:12, Jesus applies the title "the Light of the World" to himself and states: "I am the light of the world. Whovever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." This past Sunday as I read the Communion Prayer (Rite ll, Eucharistic Prayer C), praying that God will "Open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us", it occurred to me that having "open eyes" is really what we need during this Advent.
In the midst of so much darkness repeatedly trumpeted in the daily news, we can easily be mesmerized into a state of despair or become numbed-out by the continuous assault of troubling news. I admit that I am vulnerable to being overcome by this darkness.
Recognizing this, let me suggest that Advent is a perfect time to focus on the birth of Jesus, the Christ. Of course you might say, that IS what Advent is all about.! However, what I am suggesting is that during this Advent we "open our eyes" to see God birthing Christ as a dynamic process, incarnation in the myriad small and subtle moments and circumstances every day that often go unnoticed. "I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believe in me should not remain in the darkness "(John 12;46. Let us look for the Christ Light that is not so much absent, as often overlooked.: moments of compassion, respect, forgiveness, reconciliation, simple kindness, decency and generosity of spirit.
I offer this as an Advent encouragement and antidote to counter the deluge of darkness and negativity which threatens to submerge and subdue the soul and spirit. As I remind myself to look intentionally for the Light, looking for Christ, I trust that I will indeed see God's active hand at work in the world about me.
Wishing you a Blessed Advent and a Holy Christmas,