Advent greetings from the Province Center.
Advent is a wonderful season. It is a season of waiting and expectation. For me, the visual image of Advent is found in the faces of children as they look in wonder at the Christmas lights and the anticipation of Christmas morning. You can see the innocence showing through and it brings a smile to my face.
Somehow, as we get older and perhaps a bit more cynical, we lose that innocence and sadly, we can also lose the joy of the season. This year, perhaps more than most, we face a new reality of Christmas. Our gatherings will be smaller and our travel curtailed, but the reality and the underlying joy of the season is still there.
Maybe a new way of looking at this Advent and Christmas season is for all of us to focus on the things that we can safely do and not focus on the things that we cannot do this year. I was always taught that this season of Advent is a time when we await Christ. If our reality is awaiting the birth of the child in the manger in Bethlehem, we have missed something. That has already happened. It is history. So, what is it for which we are waiting?
For many Christians, we are awaiting the second coming of Christ as he predicted. But maybe we have this all wrong. It is truly a season of waiting, but maybe it is a time when we focus on how Christ is waiting for us, waiting for us to follow through on all the commands he left us. If we recognize how blessed we are, even during a pandemic, we can reach out to those who have not yet received these blessings.
We can work to feed the hungry. There are many organizations which we can assist in food efforts. We can welcome the stranger and help them make a home here among us. We can clothe those who have a hard time staying warm as winter closes in. We can assist those who are struggling to keep a roof over the heads of their family members or obtain medicine necessary for good health. We can assist those who have lost everything through wildfires and floods. We can assist those whose businesses are barely hanging on by patronizing local establishments within the guidelines we are called to observe.
When we help others, we bring joy to the season. We, as individuals cannot do everything, but we can all do something.
Perhaps, when we do these things, Christ will come and greet us with the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
In St. Viator,
Rev. Daniel R. Hall, C.S.V.