NOVEMBER 28, 2021

The four weeks of Advent are a slow wait:
one candle this week, the empty crib.
With Mary and Joseph we wait for Christ.
The candles light the way for them – and for us, one each week of Advent.

Christmas should come quickly – the message of the ads. We could be excused for thinking it is nearly over. The Christmas parties are well under way. Some dinners for the elderly have been held already. The carols have been playing for weeks now.

The best waiting, like waiting for birth, is slow. Parents wonder about their child – who will he/she be like? The mother needs support and love; the children look forward to another baby; grandparents wait in pride. Even when the family situation is limited, we wait in joy and hope for the child – like Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah and all the bible parents who waited, often for many years.

How is my faith this year from last year? And what would I be asking for? Would I promise anything to help me wait actively for Jesus – Mass more often than Sunday, the Angelus every day, to read the gospel each day, to be kinder and more just, care for the poor and needy at home or away. Let my Advent bring me closer to God and effect for the best the lives of those close to me. If we wait in faith and in hope, then everything, even the carols sung too early and the celebrations too early, can remind us of the God who is coming soon in Jesus Christ, to be born of Mary.

Mary, may I wait with you in joy and in patience and in hope.

Donal Neary SJ