Sunday, December 21, 2014
The 4th Candle
Today we who use the Advent Wreath light all four candles to usher in the Fourth Week of Advent. Today is the first day of Winter in our northern hemisphere. As I write the sky is gray as little fits of snow flurry about. The fourth light of the Advent Wreath adds needed light to our world. Yet, we Christians have hope as we await the coming of the True Light of the World, Jesus Christ, born in a Bethlehem stable. One of our Mass hymns today was "People Look East" the time is near of the coming of the Lord. I remember the sense of heightened expectation I felt as a little girl waiting for Baby Jesus as well as Santa to come. Now as a religious Sister, I feel an even greater sense of expectation, waiting for Christmas to arrive. I look forward to the Mass on Christmas Eve night with its telling in word and song of the Christmas story. Then I love Christmas morning Mass which is such a joyful way to begin the day of celebration and gift giving and receiving. Jesus is "the" Gift par excellence sent by the Father to save us, to teach us, to give us a Way to follow, and to enliven us with his grace. This past week I was struck by the huge difference that believing in the coming of Jesus as God makes for us Christians. I wrote about that in our on-line newsletter/blog published on Saturday. I invite you to read the article http://www.pauline.org/blog. Winter offers a respite from noise which helps us reflect more deeply on Christmas. Snow usually falls without making a sound. It is pervasive and covers all in its path, sometimes just leaving a dusting, at other times smothering and reshaping all in its path. All the while the frozen flakes land every where in perfect silence. So the coming of the Savior was silent. Christ, our God, came as a Baby--silent and cueing little sounds that any baby would utter. The Angels provided the choir voices. "Gloria", Glory to God in the highest. This week can mean a crush of stress, rushing to get things done: presents wrapped and delivered, cooking, calling, and so much else. Take some time, if possible before the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, to be silent before him, to ask him to calm you, to center you, to recall the Love who lies in a manger.