First Sunday of Advent – 1st December
We start the first Sunday in the same way we finished the liturgical year. We are called to be aware and awake of how God is present to us in our daily lives. This can be especially important as we journey towards Christmas. The season of Advent often becomes lost in a relentless sense of activity which seeks to wrap up the year with attention to exterior activities. I start to lose myself in attending to expectations and pressures which call me to attend to things that seem to be outside our control. It could be as simple as trying to find a car parking spot close to the place we will make our next shopping expedition. It can be the dilemma of knowing who we should send cards to and whether are greetings are truly heartfelt for the good of the person. There can be a variety of pressures which cause us to overcommit and overspend.
What may be a useful practice is to consider where the Word of God is called to read our lives. Maybe as a small group or even on our way to work, we can listen to how God wants to plant seeds in our hearts. This allows us to make room for the variety of ways in which God wishes to greet us along the way. It may allow us to pray for the person for whom we will shop or send a card, the consideration that allows our hearts to become attentive and alert to what is happening rather than what we think should happen. It calls us to allow the opportunity to notice what will bring life.
Then at the end of each day, we can review our lives to see what brings life and what overwhelms us. By attending to what is happening in the everyday. By allowing how God meets us disguised as our lives we notice how we always begin at the end!
Fr. John Armstrong