Dear Parish Family,
“We live in Hope”
As we enter ADVENT, The Season of Hope, we are called to claim again the Hope of God in Jesus Christ. On November 29th we change our liturgical colour to blue and hear again, in lighting the Advent Wreath, the story of our salvation through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Humanity does not need to live apart from God. God has dealt with any and all barriers which separate us from His love. There is no part of the human condition which has not been redeemed by God. So why do we feel so immobilized by the hopelessness and despair of the world?
The stories associated with Advent (and Christmas) are stories of common people of faith who had hope. Their world was torn by war. Power and political intrigue dominated both the social and religious landscape. Forced migration due to violence was part of the global experience. The challenges of the broken human condition always pushed them towards despair. Who can live faithfully in these conditions? They did!
That is the Divine power of these stories. Common people, living faithfully in the world of their time. The prophets, like Moses, held true to their hope in God’s salvation although they did not see it in their life time. Others remained faithful although their bodies held out no hope for them. Others remained faithful against social convention which was defended by stoning the transgressor to death. When the world said there was no room for them, they “made due” to fulfill the task God had given them. Still others overcame “human” expectations of kingdom and were prepared to look for God’s presence in unusual places. In hope they followed the human migration away from violence into strange lands knowing God was with them. To say these stories do not address our time and our need to live in hope and faith, only demonstrates that we have relegated these very adult and challenging stories to annual plays performed by children. It is time to reconnect these stories with our broken world.
This Advent I challenge us all to reclaim these stories as living adult testaments of faithfulness. Lessons we can put into practice in our lives and in our world. Let us be living statements of Hope and God’s redeeming presence now and always.
Called to serve and proclaim,
Fr. David Warren