“One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along, that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home.”
Tune in into your heart and recognise the sentiment you find yourself in at this time of year. Are you joyful? Rushed? Worried? Peaceful? Looking forward to Christmas? Dreading Christmas? Thinking of all you need to do?
Maybe none of these apply, but you have your own list of things that give you joy, and those that take it. Last Sunday was the first Advent Sunday. I was walking in Dublin, and soon found Grafton street to be too busy, as if everyone had to ‘do’ something that day. I went to a near-by church and found shelter in His quiet presence.
In many ways, this is a busy time of the year for many people. Advent, however, invites us to slow down. Slowing down is not only so that our soul can take a break from busyness, but more so that we can direct our focus towards God. It is like carving a way for God to invade our reality by allowing Him to be with us in our day-to-day lives. See what works for you. Five minutes of silence three times a day. Reading a Scripture passage reflectively, allowing God to speak to you. Nurturing our hearts with God’s presence will help us prepare for Christmas interiorly.
The world at the time of Jesus was not a perfect place, and it is still not perfect. Yet among all that turmoil, all that is not right, all that needs changing – Jesus comes. Take comfort in that. Over the weeks, as His light will be increasing allow it to increase also within you. With His light, we can start healing the darkness in the world.
Dr Iva Beranek is the Ministry Facilitator for the CMH: Ireland