A few weeks ago, we changed our clocks from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. For us, that meant moving our clocks back an hour on a Saturday night before going to bed. Though we now have light earlier in the day, each day we are losing some more daylight.
As we live through these darkest days of the year, our Church also celebrates Advent and Christmas this month. Advent is a time of hopeful anticipation of what is to come — the Second Coming of Christ and the celebration of His birth. As Advent moves us to the darkest day of the year, we embrace the themes of hope, peace, love, and joy. As the amount of light in each day begins to grow, we celebrate that the Light entered into its creation in the birth of Jesus.
Each Sunday is an opportunity, as we light a new candle on the Advent wreath, to reflect on how these four themes are lived out in our lives as disciples.
Hope — No matter what comes in our life, can we live in a spirit of hope in our Lord who is always with us? Can our confidence in God’s amazing and generous love sustain us even in the darkest moments of life?
Peace — So many things can try to rob us of peace: the death of a loved one, job loss, busyness, economic uncertainty, and success to name a few. Can we trust the Prince of Peace enough to know that we are not alone, that both God and His people are with us in all times?
Joy — This Advent, instead of looking for external sources of joy, can we give time to our Lord in prayer, forming a deeper relationship with Christ and allowing Him to become our fountain of joy?
Love — Can we take time this Advent to savor the many loving relationships of our life, especially our relationship with Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit, the saints, our parish community, and our loved ones? Embracing this love will help us to look forward with joyful anticipation to the fullness of the Kingdom of God that awaits us.
God did not make us for darkness but rather for His light. May this Advent and Christmas fill us with hope, peace, joy, and love so that we live every day as children of God’s light with a renewed spirit, receiving gratefully and sharing generously as disciples of Jesus.
Fr. Greg Meystrik