As our civil year is drawing to a close, the Christian community is celebrating its liturgical “New Year”, and this makes it a kind of ‘beginning-end” time, a season of contradictions and challenges.
Advent is the greening of our earth with hope that springs from the tired dryness of the old church year; a greening with the hope that there is an end not of the world but for the world when human history will come full term, and God will be everything to everyone. (1 Cor 15:28)
Advent is preparing to give birth to the One who has come and yet is coming, mindful that it is our life’s work to conceive Christ in the Spirit, to swell pregnant as a church with the holy seed of God’s grace, and to bear Jesus to the world.
Advent is stirring in the womb of our complacency: a time for turning and returning, for straightening crooked paths in our relationships with God and with our sisters and brothers, for filling in the holes and removing the stumbling blocks that trip us up on our journey of discipleship.
Advent is welcoming and befriending the vulnerable, the stranger, the desert places in myself and others. It is preparing a way into and through those deserts, believing that it is there that God stirs and saves.
Advent is the season of a Midwife God preparing to deliver into our hands the care of the wrinkled infant kingdom whose name is Son and Saviour.
– Sr Verna Holyhead sgs, Welcoming the Word Year C