First Sunday of Advent As we light the first purple candle of our Advent wreath, let’s focus on the hope we have in the coming of the Lord. Remember, the angel’s visit to Mary at the annunciation got things started. This week we walk with Mary as we prepare, alongside her, for the coming of our Savior.
Monday Have you ever watched how people react to a baby? More often than not, there’s a lot of cooing and smiling. In my experience, this reaction grows exponentially as the age gap widens between the admirer and the bundle of joy. My grandparents and great-grandparents had far greater appreciation for my babies than I did at the time. I think this is a reflection of the hope we all see in a baby, as we get older. Today let’s look for that hope in the eyes of someone younger. Let’s share the message of hope through an encouraging word or a warm hug.
Tuesday In the northern part of the world, this is a time of darkness and cold. The days are short. Christmas lights bring twinkles of hope. But so does the spiritual meaning behind the season. Find a small source of light today and think about how powerful the spark of faith is in the face of the darkness that surrounds us.
Wednesday Advent is a time, each year, to realize that we will be the host to a grand guest, even if that guest is only a baby—one who came into the world under the most meager circumstances. No matter how dirty or neglected we feel our soul is, we can find hope in the power of reconciliation and in the promise of forgiveness—through the grace of the sacraments. How will you act on that hope this week?
Thursday Christ’s birth happens in the silence of a stable, in the middle of a small town, with only a few people to witness it. Often, God operates without loud noises or bright flashes. He gets our attention in small ways, using the silence of our hearts. Find a quiet place today and sit in silence. Spend some time with Jesus as you look toward his arrival on Christmas.
Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Friday Preparing ourselves during Advent means being open to what God has in mind instead of limiting ourselves to what we want out of the season. God knows what’s best for us, and he will help us deal with the circumstances we have to face in life. While Advent is a time to get ready for Jesus’ birth, it’s also a time of grace when we can give Baby Jesus the gift of changing our inner selves.
Saturday Advent is a busy time of year. We may find ourselves not looking forward to Christmas at all. If we’re not careful, we might forget what it is we’re preparing for and the hope that surrounds us. The birth of Jesus changed the world more than 2,000 years ago, and it continues to change the world today. He’s coming to visit us, and we want to greet him joyfully. The time to celebrate is not yet here. But the hope that is planted within us begins to emerge.
Matthew 9:35; 10:1, 6-8
© Copyright Catholic Update, The Light of Advent by Sarah Reinhard, permission to publish.