Living the Gospel – November 29, 2020

Home > Living the Gospel > Living the Gospel – November 29, 2020

May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from You;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.

Advent – a season of anticipation for everyone! Children often spend Advent waiting eagerly for Santa and their Christmas gifts. Adults look forward to Christmas activities and visits from family and friends. Elderly people, especially those who live alone, have memories of earlier years that bring both joy and tears. Advent, as we enter into wintertime, is an emotional time of year. This sharing is what Advent means to me…

…As I was looking out my window today at the fallen leaves that litter our driveway, some thoughts came to mind. I thought of the many varieties of summertime’s birds that have departed for a warmer climate and the different flocks that are now enjoying the seed in my feeders. At the same time, I wondered what instincts God had given them that moved them to take such a long journey, and then I realized (again) how little I know. I foolishly thought that I understood and even accepted how the cycle of the seasons affected me – including the dark days and cold nights, but I was wrong. I needed to reflect on how all life – and all of creation – shares the winters we people all experience, yet awakens us all anew each spring.

Today’s Gospel reading granted me another perspective. In the dreary days and isolation we’ve experienced with COVID, I’ve waited impatiently for relief from discouragement and frustration. But then I thought again of Advent and realized that Advent is a real gift – our own births (in a somewhat poetic sense) are integrated into the Advent season. Actually, isn’t our entire liturgical year an image of our lives – as it celebrates Jesus’ Life? One thought, poorly stated – we’re now waiting to celebrate Jesus’ birth, and throughout this coming year we will follow Him through his mission – and His suffering – and his death – and His return to Life. So I asked myself again; doesn’t the Church celebrate and sanctify all the ordinary seasons of our lives, too, as we come together to celebrate in worship? After all, we pray that our lives become like Jesus’ life…we, too, are born, live, die and enter eternity to be with God…and our Advent is simply the beginning…

In the cold days of winter, when we look at the bare branches of our trees, let’s remember that deep within the trees life is waiting for the warmth of spring, and that Life will reawaken us as well. What a wonderful gift! And, most importantly, we will remember that God has been with us all throughout this journey.

Dorothy Hathway, OCDS