Advent 2019

Advent: it's time to wake up!

Dear friends,

this month begins with the celebration of the first Sunday of Advent and the opening of the new liturgical year. The Word of God that the liturgy will propose to us in these weeks before Christmas are full of recommendations: in the first two weeks the exhortation to vigilance and conversion is strong; in the days before Christmas, we will be called to live the mystery of the Incarnation with hope and joy.

While Christmas arrives, therefore, it is necessary that our heart, often dormant and almost anesthetized by the daily routine, be shaken and awakened: "And do this because you know the time - Saint Paul will tell us – to awake from sleep, because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness (and) put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy."(Rom. 13: 12-13).

We take advantage of this "great time" to put away our worries, our fears, our battles, and let's stop, leaving a little space for Jesus, who wants to enter in our heart. Advent, in fact, according to St. Bernard, who invites us and prepares us for a triple coming of Jesus! The first refers to the moment of the Incarnation of the Son of God, which took place over two thousand years ago. The second is the one that will mark the end of time, when Jesus will come as supreme judge, "to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end". And finally, the third, which concerns each one of us, our faith: Jesus wants to come and break into our history, into our lives and into our hearts, to give us strength, joy and peace.

With his coming, everything will be done: " Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. A highway will be there, called the holy way; No one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it. No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk. Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee."(Is 35: 5-10). This is the grace that the Lord wants to give to each one of us if we let him enter in our lives!

This is my wish for all of you, for this Advent and Christmas: experience with joy in this life the encounter with the Lord, our Savior. Merry Christmas!

Fr. Dermot Ryan, L.C. is Vice-rector community of student's priests for the College Maria Mater Ecclesiae. Is working in the Congregation for bishops from 2006.