Advent ReflectionDecember 3, 2023
Again, we begin the season of Advent – the time of waiting for the celebration of the birth of the Messiah.
As it was when he was born, there is fear and violence in the world, especially in the land of his birth.
As it was then, the Jewish people pray for the deliverance of captives.
As it was then, people of faith long for peace.
In that time, people envisioned a Messiah who would come as a mighty warrior to vanquish their enemies and establish a kingdom of justice and peace. They were not expecting a helpless child, or a man who would suffer and die for them in an inglorious way.
We too will be disappointed if we expect peace to come overnight or demand that God resolve all our problems without any effort on our part.
This does not mean that we and our world are hopeless. We must embrace hope and joy and light in order to participate in God’s call to help bring about peace. We must love in order to overcome hate.
God did not promise instantaneous peace, prosperity and joy. He did promise to be with us – always. God is with us in the darkness and in the light, in our suffering and in our joy. This is well worth the wait!
by Sr. Joan Marie Stelman, OSB, senior vice president, mission integration