Advent Blessings and Challenges

By Colin Petramale

Peace and blessings to you as we begin our Advent journey towards Christmas! The readings this week provide us with a wonderful and difficult challenge: to wait and be alert amid our often challenging lives. But what does this mean?

For starters, this means all our lives are a kind of Advent; we are always waiting for new life to be born. Always waiting for the next experience, person, or event which may bring fulfillment to our lives. Socially, we long for the day where justice and peace may reign. We long to more fully experience God's love which will not allow for our "guilt to carry us away." The good news of Advent is that our waiting is fulfilled in the Incarnation.

As Christians, we believe that creation fundamentally changed and enlivened at the moment of Jesus' birth. This birth, as Julian of Norwich points out, ensures that "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." Superficial as it may seem, this belief is what allows us as Christian to "wait in joyful hope." The Good News of Advent is that our waiting is not in vain, and that we encounter Christ in the Eucharist. As we wait, we are merely called to be humble servants, to continue birthing Christ, and to be alert-- for Christ is among us!

My prayer for you this Advent is that you remain alert and celebrate as we wait in joyful hope. 

Colin Petramale

Graduate Assistant, Joint Appointment 

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