Today marks the beginning of Advent, a very wonderful day indeed. Cardinal Ratzinger spoke these words in 1986:
“Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is to continually rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope… It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”
Anne Lamott observed that “hope begins in the dark.” I think that is a pretty fair assessment. It was certainly true 2,000 years ago when the town of Bethlehem went to sleep. Under Roman rule, the people were oppressed and downtrodden. Promises of the coming Messiah made so many years ago no doubt seemed like a hazy dream that they struggled to remember. Maybe some believed that God had forgotten His promise, forgotten them. But then a great light filled the sky and heaven announced that God had not forgotten, that the promise had come…He had come in the fullness of time. Shepherds in a field first heard the words that changed the world.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” And suddenly there was with the angel of multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill to men.”
May you have a blessed Advent season.
Blessings to you,