“It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI
I know that there are some whose sole hope by the third Sunday of Advent is that they can hold on to their Advent practices for the remaining days of the season. By now fatigue may have set in for many. There are many who have also given up doing anything specifically Advent related. That’s typical for this season. It’s even worse in Lent as the season of Lent is nearly twice as long as Advent.
This reflection is not going to be about how long Advent feels or about giving up, though. Instead, I encourage you go look back at the season thus far and to count your many spiritual blessings. How has the season spoken to you? What have you discovered about yourself or about God’s love? In what ways has Advent prepared you for the celebration of Christmas? What is your hope for Christmas? What is your ultimate hope?
I would hope that as you look back at the season thus far you will see several shiny moments, memories of goodness as Pope Benedict puts it. These moments may have spurred you on and given you great comfort. They may have touched your life is such a manner as to draw you closer to the God who loves us so completely.
God’s love is a deep and profound mystery. His love for us is absolute and unconditional. It is hard to fathom such a love since the love that we know and experience here on earth is often much less than that. The love that we know is often conditional. It comes with strings attached. The love that we know is often fair-weather. Someone may be devoted to us when times are good but if things change, they may be far away.
Advent reminds us that we prepare to celebrate the birth of love, Jesus Christ our Lord. It further reminds us that the Lord of Love will come again in all of His glory. We long for that moment with joyful anticipation. The memories of what God has done for us indeed fills us with hope.
FAITH ACTION: Make a solid plan to utilize this last week of Advent to your best advantage so that you will be prepared for the celebration of Christmas on Saturday.