• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 29 November 2019 18:18

First Sunday of Advent - 2019

Written by Fr Frank Gerry SVD

 

First Sunday of Advent 2019

 

Fr Frank Gerry SVD 150We are indeed blessed to have a season like Advent in which we spend time reflecting on the perennial hope of humanity for a saviour – for someone who will lead us along the right path to life and fulfilment. This hope has been protected, nurtured and elaborated for us in the lives and works of the prophets, especially Isaiah. A quotation from him says it all:  a people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.” What beautiful words!

Imagine yourself in darkness, not knowing where you are or how you are to get out of the darkness, fearful of this, fearful of that, and then suddenly as if from nowhere a light appears. What a joy! If you have had that kind of experience you know what the prophet Isaiah is talking about.

When one has hope, so much is possible! This is what Advent it about – HOPE. We have hope for a better world, for a better understanding of life and our responsibilities. Jesus, the source of our hope, will be the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and he will come to us as a child. Our hopes will be embodied in his simplicity, vulnerability, and sheer graciousness. We will walk with our own vulnerability a little bit easier because of him.

The words of Isaiah that I have quoted can very easily apply to us for we know we live in a world in which there is much spiritual darkness: people don’t know what to do, who to believe, where to place their trust. Some are just intent upon themselves, couldn’t care less about another.  Others, perhaps the vast majority, are hungering for something that will nourish their souls.

We need the nourishment and guidance of our faith, and Advent presents us with the richness of the human heart aching for the promised saviour. The dramatis personae of this great Advent drama are people of the spirit; Isaiah, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zachary, John the Baptist, the shepherds in the field watching their flock, and the magi, the wise men  of the East. The darkness is portrayed by Herod who kills the innocent babes. He too symbolises more than himself, for he still lives among us: the one who lays in wait for the innocent.

So let us be comforted and encouraged by this season of our faith. It is a pity that the major public symbol for this time of the year is Santa who seems to be held captive by a blatant consumerism. Let us not forget the holy family, Mary and Joseph preparing for the birth of Jesus. Let there be a thoughtfulness for the other as we go about our day and the weeks leading to Christmas.

Allow me to read again a few sentences from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians: “May the Lord increase you and make you overflow with love for one another and for all, even as our love does for you. May he strengthen your hearts, making them blameless and holy before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.

“A people who have walked in darkness have see a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.”

May these words stay with us during this holy season!