1st Sunday of Advent Year B

Advent!! Time flies faster than we care to think. The shortest of the important liturgical times, but in many ways so important, important enough not to let it be swallowed up by society’s lust for celebration.

It is here, at this time, that God presents Himself as absence, darkness and silence, experiences that modern people shy away from and avoid at every cost. Advent gives us that opportunity to find the God of silence, the light in darkness, a God who seems far away. But we need to give God the chance.

This is how Carlo Carretto, a Little Brother of Charles de Foucauld, put it. A little dated maybe, a tad sexist, but let God touch you:

“When her husband is near, and does not let her want for anything she expects, hopes for and enjoys, a wife says she loves her husband, says it easily and normally. But when the husband is far away, when waiting is prolonged for months and years, when doubt grows that he will ever return, oh, then the true test of love begins!

What light, what splendours in the possibilities this wife has to resist, while she fixes her eyes on the anonymous crowd and tries to pick out him, and only him!

What power of real, living, strong testimony emanates from the faithful vigilance, the unquenchable hope, which this woman lives behind the bitter doorway of waiting!

Oh how each one of us would like to be the bridegroom who returns disguised as a poor  stranger, whom she does not recognise, but to whom she repeats, again and again, her certainty of his return and the sweetness of his love!

Well, every evening, when darkness wraps itself around my prayer, He, God, is there, disguised as a poor man watching me.

When I endure, in the darkness of Faith, the prolonged wait for the God who comes, He has already come to me, and is embracing me silently, with the same embrace with which I, in Faith, embrace Him”.

Yes, perfect fullness is always to come, and we do not need to demand it now.

Just a thought!