Advent – A Time to Be At Peace
We’re now approaching the fourth Sunday of Advent and the number days until Christmas grows shorter. We’ve heard readings of Hope/Expectation for the Coming of Christ in our days and at the end of days. We’ve heard readings of Peace, with images of children playing safely beside the adder’s lair and lambs being safe with lions. Readings of Joy were proclaimed last week, with the promise of the Lord coming to set things right and signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God already present in the life and work of Jesus. Next Sunday we’ll hear of the Lord’s promise and reassurance to St. Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was divinely blessed and of Joseph’s acceptance of that gift.
As I’ve moved through these days and weeks, I’ve been reflecting on what peace means in daily life. It seems to me that peace is more than the absence of armed conflict between nations. Peace is a way of living. It springs from a place of openness and gratitude.
Peace means being gracious when another person fails to notice, even in passing, that you have gone out of your way to do something just for him or her. Peace means accepting an apology without needing to shame the one offering it. Peace means choosing to be kind rather than insisting on being right. Peace means looking beyond the gift one has received to see the love with which it was given.
Peace flows out of a place of gratitude for gifts received and shared. It giggles with a small child discovering the joys of a puddle. It smiles with the fond memories of a grandparent who is watching another’s child. It holds hands and spends quiet time with the person nearing the end of this life.
Advent is about hope, peace, joy and the coming of the light of the world. May each of us remember this truth as we hear the enticements of the mall and feel the pressure to “make Christmas memorable” by doing many things and buying lots of merchandise. Advent is a time for hope, peace, joy, and sharing with Christ the wonder of being a bringer of hope, peace and joy to others.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!