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Father Muench Says...

Season of Advent: a celebration of hope

Dec. 17, 2014

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

As I continue through this rehabilitation, I have been attending Sunday Mass in the pews with the people at my brother’s parish Church, Holy Cross Church, in DeWitt. 

This has been a rather good experience for me – sitting among families, many young families – I was distracted often by mothers and fathers as they watched over twisting and turning little ones. 

During these days of Advent, these families reminded me of the spirit of Advent as we prepare for Christmas.  There is the spirit of a constant search for hope, a search for the confidence in the Lord that only good things will happen for their family and for their children.

Advent is among other things a celebration of hope.  We find through the prayers of Advent a time to build up our hope and confidence in the Lord, Our God.  This confidence prepares all Christians for the birth of Our Savior; it gives us hope in all the good that Jesus brought into this world and continues to bring to us even today.

Each year as we go through another Advent. we are all challenged by our Church to discover a new and stronger hope in the Lord so that our lives will be filled with the confidence that makes us realize that our lives matter and in this Advent spirit we can make our world a better place.

Hope is about the things we invest our lives and dream dreams about possible accomplishments.  Often, this is something rather simple, something only human – maybe the success of our favorite football team.

Spiritually, Advent challenges us to have hope for the welfare of people and hope for salvation. This hope strengthens each of us to live our faith in Our Lord’s coming to our world  so that we are ready and confidant to bring that spirit of love and peace of the Lord to a world that often lacks any hope, lacks any hope that peace will ever come, that love will ever transform this world. 

Advent hope strives to remove fear. Advent hope constantly reminds us that hope is possible, that peace and happiness is possible.

May the hope of Advent reach and transform each one of us. This Advent is about Christmas.  During Advent, we remember and prepare to celebrate how our world was changed by the Birth of Jesus. 

Jesus became one of us. During Advent our hopes are high each year for this may be the year that Jesus, who comes as the Prince of Peace, will indeed bring peace to this world. 

We pray in hope that the peace of Our Savior will reach each family and home with peace and joy and happiness.
This must never become an idle hope.  Too many will hear of Advent hope and proclaim it impossible.  Once we say impossible then all will be lost.

As long as we keep faith in the Lord’s hope, we keep our hope possible that good things will happen and one day there will be peace for all.

Here is an Advent quote from the author, Caryll Houselander’s “The Reed of God:”

“The Light is shining in the darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend it.  To a soul in such a condition, peace will come as soon as it turns to Our Lady and imitates her. In her, the Word of God chose to be silent for the season measured by God.  She, too, was silent; in her the light of the world shone in darkness.  Today, in many souls, Christ asks that he may grow silently, that he may be the light shining in the darkness.”

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