Tuesday 7 December 2010

I'm waiting

I’m waiting …

I am sitting in my room on a cold December morning. The frost is heavy on the windows; People are walking around the friary, the bustle of the house continues. The world is not still. We are now in the second week of Advent. A time for stopping in the midst of our busy lives and a time to simply ask, ‘what do I yearn for?’ Maybe the economic uncertainties of our world at this time can give us the opportunity to begin to seek what our hearts yearn for, to seek out what we need to live, rather to want what makes our lives comfortable.

Advent is my favourite season in the Churches year. It just seems to follow the climate of our land. As the nights draw in we seek light and warmth. We hear in our liturgy of the long waiting of people for God’s promise to be fulfilled. The themes that are presented to us are expectancy, hope, and joy. The church invites us to ask for and live in a Spirit of expectancy and joy that our salvation is not only close at hand but faithfully present. That for which we wait this Advent is our deeper reception of this gift, wrapped in flesh for us and for the whole human family. Jesus, and the presence of Jesus in our lives, is the cause of our rejoicing and should also leave us a little bit bemused.

As we prepare for the great feast of Christ’s birth, forget the familiar but think of what Christmas really means. God breaks into our human story in a new and vibrant way. God becomes a human being. Not born in grandeur, but in a stable. Not warmed by a fine blanket, but by straw and the breath of cattle. When Mary becomes pregnant with Jesus and gives birth to him in Bethlehem the whole landscape of our future is changed. This is our story; it impacts on each one of us. And this is the real message of Christmas and it is not comfortable, but challenging. God becomes human, he has our flesh, he is bone and blood and muscle and sinew. Emmanuel – God is with us.  The Good News of Christmas is here to bring us light in the midst of any darkness, poverty, rejection, emptiness, sinfulness we experience. By reminding us of where and how God comes, the Good News is also a revelation of who we are. We are the people who walk in darkness. We are the people who hunger and thirst for God’s presence. The Advent season and the feast of the Nativity give us an opportunity to express our need for absolute love and vitality, and to be reminded by God, that he is with us, the fullness of life and love.

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