Advent: Living between Memory and Hope

"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 continually to 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."

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which Is Above, 1986

Advent season has begun and we are invited to contemplate the great deeds performed by God in history for the salvation of us sinners. With advent, we begin a new liturgical season and start living and celebrating the mysteries of redemption afresh in the new year.

Advent is a special season, in which we join the fathers and prophets of the Old Testament in waiting for the coming of the promised Messiah. It is a period of fruitful waiting for the Lord.

Advent waiting has a double dimension: it relives the memory of long wait for the first coming of Jesus as an Infant born of the Virgin Mary; it is a hopeful expectation of the glorious return of the Lord to judge the living and the dead.

Waiting is one of the most profound human experiences in life:  a couple expecting a child, a student waiting for the results of an exam, someone expecting the arrival of a friend or family member after long separation. In fact, it is hope and expectation that keeps humans alive. The moral and spiritual strength of a person is measured in terms of his hopes and expectations.

In this time of Christmas we are expecting the incarnation of the Son of God, the savior of all. Our world is in need of a Saviour and believers, we await God’s coming. It is an invitation to live with a new spirit of hope and expectation for God’s intervention in our lives and in human history. Wish you all a fruitful advent season.

Prepared by Fr Jose Palakeel

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