November 27, 2016 — First Sunday of Advent
Most of us are quite familiar with Jesus’ comments about faith, hope, and love. As we enter the Advent season, it is a time for us to emphasize all three, but today’s readings in particular speak of hope. Isn’t that what Advent is all about?
Many people in our world, perhaps even here in our parish and community, seem to have a feeling of hopelessness. We should not be among them; worldly thinking produces hopelessness, but our hope is found in Jesus Christ Who has redeemed us and paid for all our sins on the Cross.
In the First Reading the prophet Isaiah foresees a time of peace, a time when all literally “walk in the light of the Lord.” Two phrases commonly quoted are included in this reading: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” This peaceful world is exactly what we prepare for during this Advent time. Think of how often we hear the word “Peace” used at this time of year. Think of how many Christmas cards bear that word alone.
Peace produces hope and hope produces peace. That is the feeling we are seeking at this time, as we prepare to declare “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” The eminent French author Alexandre Dumas (who wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo among others) once wrote, “All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.” Is that not what we do during Advent?