Jer 33:14-16; 1Thes3:12 – 4:2; Lk 21: 25-28, 34-36
1st Sunday of Advent
“May the Lord make you increase and abound in love”.
This year, I want to let Paul’s prayer give direction to my Advent preparations and reflections. Christmas is the feast of Love. The celebration of the Incarnation. For a little while, we take the time to reflect upon and celebrate this profound Truth at the center of our Faith. God’s love for us is such that God did not stop at simply bringing into being Creation out of Love. God needed to become one of us, to walk with us through the heights of our joys and hopes and the depths of our fears and failings so that Love might become complete and perfected.
There are lots of ways to enter into this celebration and the traditions of the Church are a good place to start. But only in so far as they help us enter into this wonderful mystery of God’s love. All that is truly inspired by the Spirit this season, all that is truly holy, all that is really in keeping with the spirit of this season will lead us to a greater experience of Paul’s prayer in our lives.
Let’s keep Paul’s prayer in our hearts and minds this season. Let’s embrace anything that offers us the opportunity to increase and abound in love. Let’s reject anything that, no matter how pious sounding, would in the end feed the flames of division and fear and hatred that so plague both the Church and the world today.
Be a conscientious objector this year in the “War on Christmas”. Refuse to take sides. Seek the goal of any true pacifist – to find the common ground where all can sit down at the Christmas feast and join together the faith that is celebrated with the faith that is lived. Make this Christmas a celebration of Peace and Love.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
(To purchase book-length versions of my reflections on Scripture and on the Church, go to http://www.twentythirdpublications.com or to http://www.amazon.com. You’ll find my writings under “James Philipps”)