When we speak of Advent in the lead up to Christmas we’re not just talking about a little baby who was born 2000 years ago”, as Fr Richard Rohr explains, “… we’re in fact welcoming the universal, cosmic Christ — the Christ that is forever being born in the human soul and history.”
Advent is a time for us to focus our expectations and anticipation of this same Christ who challenges us to prepare, to pray, to repent and to rejoice!
This timeless message heralded in the birth of a child, is this same joy experienced throughout all of history. Every country in the world right now is sharing in this joy – the pregnant pause before Christmas.
The season of Advent, which begins the new liturgical year, started last weekend and includes the four Sundays and weekdays leading up to Christmas. Pope Francis teaches us that “Advent is a continuous call to hope. Confidently waiting for the Lord allows us to find comfort and courage in the dark moments of our lives”. We have certainly had some dark moments with the spread of COVID in Auckland this year, and our Carmel community has risen to the challenge, showing resilience and hope.
This is a very busy time of year with school finishing, Christmas shopping, planning for family gatherings, holidays and buying gifts. Advent invites all to remember simplicity and to slow down to hear the voice of God in our lives. It is a time of preparation, to rid yourself of anything that keeps you away from loving God and others.
This week all Year 7-10 students have been doing activities that are part of our Catholic traditions of Advent – making Jesse trees, learning about the Advent wreath and making Advent calendars and Christmas cards that focus on the key messages of Christmas – Love, Joy, Peace and Hope.
Let this season of Advent be a time of change and new beginnings. Let it be a time of joy and a time of hope for each of us. Come, Lord Jesus.