First Sunday of Advent 2022
The First Advent, which signifies hope, begins a new year in the Church calendar (Year A), centred round the Gospel of Matthew. Advent is the season where we prepare to celebrate the incarnation – God becoming a human being, to demonstrate what God is really like and teach us how live our lives in harmony with God. To paraphrase Saint Athanasius: God became human, so that humans might become God. It is worth reading that phrase several times and pausing to ponder on it. Our life on Earth is a journey from God, accompanied by God, and returning to God. So, I believe that our life will always be more fulfilled and happier when we spend it aware of God’s love for each of us. No matter when we come to this realisation, or how much of a mess that we have made of things or continue to make of them.
Our Advent readings follows on from where we left off, looking at the end times when Jesus will return. As Catholic Christians we believe that Jesus was the Word of God present in the beginning, spoken by God to bring about creation and sent to reveal the fullness of God’s love to us, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, who was, who is and who will come again. We have no idea when the end of our world will take place and it is idle to speculate on such things.
Our mission in life is to be open to God’s love and to share it with all of those we meet. To live lovingly, responsibly, and caringly for our neighbours, for our environment and for all creatures that on earth do dwell.
So, let’s use this Advent as a reset for our lives, a time to pause and take stock of what is important, to check our priorities and redirect ourselves – the real meaning of repentance (metanoia) – to recharge and revitalise our lives.