Welcome to our celebration of Advent!
Here you will find reflections and resources for this blessed season of waiting.
Weekly Video Reflection with Bishop Kirkpatrick
New reflection posted each Tuesday on Facebook
Week 4: December 22
Week 1: December 1
Week 2: December 8
Week 3: December 15
From Bishop Kirkpatrick:
As children, we played a game called “Red Light, Green Light.” The one who was “it” turned one’s back, covered one’s eyes against a tree and said “Green Light.” Then everyone raced forward trying to reach the tree first before the person cried out “Red Light”. Everyone had to stop at “Red Light” and if you could not stop, you had to return to the start. The game of stop and go provides important lessons for all of us as we try to negotiate our troubled world at this time of the year.
Two colours come to mind for Advent: "Purple Light and Pink Light.” During Advent, we need time to stop and reflect rather than to ‘go go go’ to get to Christmas. Our Advent wreath reminds us, we need the purple days of preparation but also the rose colour of joy amid our time of preparation.
Advent is one of the most difficult liturgical seasons to observe because of the competition with the commercial world. In fact, the purple of the liturgy clashes with the more secular colours of the red and green of the multi-coloured lights. Somewhere along the way, the very meaning and value of Advent and the Christmas Season have become distorted, if not lost altogether. Things could be very different though, if we resolve today to adopt a new approach to our Advent preparations.
Advent is not simply a countdown to Christmas, or a reminder of the number of shopping days remaining to ‘Go’, but a season of joyful expectation, a season of hope. Advent comes from the Latin word "adventus" which literally means "coming". There are three "comings" that we need to reflect upon in this season. First, it is a season to look back, we know that Jesus has already come in history. Second, Advent is a season that looks forward to his final coming in glory at the end of time. Third, we also experience his daily coming into our lives through the sacraments, the Eucharist, the Word of God and again following from last Sunday through the various persons and events of our day-to-day lives. As Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”
We can adapt the Red Light-Green light approach to Jesus when he says, ‘Stop’ and “Keep awake" so we do not miss the most important event: the coming of God into our lives. Jesus says, "Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.” If we are not watchful and alert we will lose our way.
To be watchful is more than just being awake, it means to be aware and sensitive to people and the realities around us. For children, it means watch the important people in your lives. Learn from them; care for them. For our young people, it means watch the kind of choices you make. Keep your eyes fixed on your goals. For adults, it means watch the shadows that might overwhelm you. Stay faithful to your commitments and deepen your belief in the one who has been faithful to you. For seniors, it means watch for opportunities to share your wisdom and leave a legacy of faithfulness behind you.
The Season of Advent means much more than just looking back in time or looking forward towards the end of time; we must be open in prayer for God's coming to us each day, in every moment that we share together. Our task is not to watch out, but to keep watch, not to be alarmed but to remain alert, not to be anxious but to pay attention so we don't miss the presence of Christ with us, even amid difficulty. As our Advent wreath reminds us, let your light break into the darkness. Let your strength and faith in God carry the day. Let the hand of God continue to form and support you. We are called every day to live and bring about God's kingdom of hope, peace, joy and love to all people whom we meet. "Keep Awake" as we pray Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus.
From the Emmaus Centre:
Reflection On Light
The year 2020 has not been an easy year for the human family – it has been a dark time, preoccupied with survival, and care of self and community, in the face of a deadly virus. Covid-19 created an atmosphere of fear, anxiety, economic upheaval, even a sense of chaotic disorder, all of which transformed, in ways unknown to us, our worshiping and our being a faith community. And as this reflection is being prepared, evidence indicates that a second wave of the virus is surfacing, edging its way back into the world community. We wonder if there will be light at the end of the tunnel, even with a vaccine. Therefore, given this present reality, I thought a reflection on Light as a catalyst of hope might be a helpful Advent reflection.
My preparation for Advent includes some of the following:
Go to Reflection On Light
December 17, 10 am to 12 noon
A seasonal visit to the Emmaus Centre book and gift store
in our Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Membertou, Nova Scotia, Canada
Background music by Luke and Mary Henderson