Advent is here again to renew our circles of hope and joy of the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church has created a yearly calendar or a circle of periods that stand as signposts on our journey to eternity helping us to avoid travelling blindly as people without a roadmap. Advent is one of those signposts.
Ordinarily, on a journey, the signposts tell us many stories. They offer us direction and also they tell us how far we have travelled and how far we are from our destination. These signs often evoke different emotions in us and they help us take certain decisions about the journey itself. Similarly, Advent tells us know how far we are from the birth of Jesus Christ.
It is instructive that Advent comes immediately after the feast of Christ the King, a day when Heaven and earth unite and stand still to acknowledge that, Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9), a time when every knee must bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is God (Rom. 14:11).
In these hard times, it is tempting to feel despondent especially as Advent reminds us of how close we are to Christmas which further reminds us of festivities and the attendant costs. In spite of all this, the real joy of Christmas itself has nothing to do with our economic status. It is simply a time to remember God’s generosity shown in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. At God’s own feast, we are told that we can eat and drink without paying (Is. 55:10). Secondly, Jesus Himself was born in a manger, surrounded by poverty (Lk. 2:1ff). At his own thanksgiving, his parents could only afford two turtledoves and two pigeons (Lk. 2: 24). Advent is a time of waiting, a time when we wait with our lights lit in hope of the coming of the Lord. Let us not we weighed down by the difficulties of the moment because after every dark night, no matter how long, the dawn will break.