“I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land.” Jeremiah 33:15
Advent… a time of expectant and hopeful waiting… the time we prepare ourselves for the birth of Our Lord and Savior. Could there be a more important moment in the life of the soul?
Today we begin our journey toward Christmas and the miracle of Bethlehem. We can be secure in our hope because we have the promise of the Christ Child… we have the wisdom of scripture… and we have one another.
On the first Sunday of Advent I draw special meaning from today’s readings, and I hope you do, too. Jeremiah says the time is at hand when a descendant from the House of David will bring righteous judgment and justice across all the land.
This was reassuring in the prophet’s time, and remains especially so now. We are, at times, confronted with seemingly impossible challenges. But scripture tells us never to despair because one called by God will redeem us. I also find solace in Luke’s Gospel, my favorite evangelist. He says rather than be afraid of change, stand tall and embrace it “because your redemption is at hand.”
We have endured a lot of tests this year. So Advent begins with a plea from the psalmist for God’s ways to be made known to us, and for our vigilance and humility to guide us toward justice. We pray during Advent for the strength to overcome whatever obstacles may come our way, knowing that in the Christ Child we have the promise of salvation. And as always, we take comfort in the prayers we offer one another.
Friend, we have such wonderful traditions at this time of year. When you light the first of four candles in your Advent wreath, know you are beginning the most hopeful journey of the liturgical year. Embrace the gift of love we are about to receive on Christmas Day. We may not know all that the New Year will bring. But we know that God will be with us for the journey in the presence of the Christ Child. May your Advent be full of expectation and joy. I am walking in hope beside you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Lance Nadeau, M.M.
First Sunday in Advent
My heart longs for Your love, O Lord,
and my heart for Your peace
and my soul for Your grace.
Come into my life again
as You came to holy Mary
and Joseph in Bethlehem.
Help me to prepare a place for You,
welcoming and warm, in my family,
among my relatives, with my friends and neighbors.
Open my eyes to see Your presence
in everyone I meet today: among the poor as well as the privileged,
the weak as well as the powerful.
During this holy season of waiting
grant me the patience to keep silent
when I should, and the wisdom to speak
at the proper time that my words and actions,
my thoughts and prayers this Advent might
glow as a candle in the growing darkness
to lead others back to You.
Prayer by Father Joe Veneroso, M.M.