With all of the candles of the advent wreath brilliantly flickering in unison, we joyously anticipate the dawn of salvation illuminating the night of human longing. As we prepare for Emmanuel, I leave you with some divine pondering courtesy of Pope Benedict XVI. His Angelus message from the first Sunday of Advent in 2006 seems an appropriate bookend to usher out our awaiting.
“In Advent, the liturgy frequently repeats and assures us, as if to overcome our natural diffidence, that God ‘comes’:he comes to be with us in every situation of ours, he comes to dwell among us, to live with us and within us; he comes to fill the gaps that divide and separate us; he comes to reconcile us with him and with one another.
He comes into human history to knock at the door of every man and every woman of good will, to bring to individuals, families and peoples the gifts of brotherhood, harmony and peace.
This is why Advent is par excellence the season of hope in which believers in Christ are invited to remain in watchful and active waiting, nourished by prayer and by the effective commitment to love. May the approaching Nativity of Christ fill the hearts of all Christians with joy, serenity and peace!
To live this Advent period more authentically and fruitfully, the liturgy urges us to look at Mary Most Holy and to set out in spirit together with her towards the Bethlehem Grotto. When God knocked at the door of her young life, she welcomed him with faith and love.”