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Advent Reflection 2010
Advent Reflection 2010

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Published by: Christine Elizabeth Feliciano on Jan 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In the beginning God created heaven and earth. The earth was void and empty, darknesswas upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved across the waters.And then He spoke. He said,
“Let there be light”.
And all was very good.But the ones who first lived in that light allowed themselves to be deceived. Mankind,created in God’s image became fallen. Pride, chaos, violence and darkness filled theearth. Yet, God so loved His people, that He would not leave them without forgiveness or hope. Salvation is promised to those who believe.Throughout the ages, this Mystery of Salvation, the promise of redemption was graduallyrevealed in the covenants he offered to Noah, Abraham, Moses… to David; and therevelation of the mystery continues into this present age; an age which is still chaotic anddark. The world is flooded with sin and error; a darkness hovers over society.In this darkness we often times experience emptiness, our lives are sometimes void of meaning. We allow ourselves to be influenced by pride and do violence to our souls. Weunknowingly remove ourselves from the promise of this great salvation. We fail to seethat God, our Creator, formed us in His image and as such, desires that we be united withHim as a holy people, filled with His everlasting light. God has spoken through the prophets about this awesome light. They tell of the coming of a great Messiah. And it isin anticipation and expectation of this Saviour that the people of God throughout historylived their lives. They believed in His promise.It is said that all of the Old Testament is “a prolonged Advent the prayers of which aresummed up in this prayer of Isaiah: Send forth, O Lord, the Lamb and Ruler of the earth.”It is in this same spirit that we should place ourselves as we once again celebrate the beginning of a new liturgical year for the Church, the season of Advent. So too must welook at this four week period as a beginning of sorts for us. Call to mind the ancient promise as you place yourselves in a state of hopeful anticipation and expectation of whatis to come. Let this Advent be the start of a new way of looking at things, a time for introspection and reflection, a time for waiting, for watching… a time to be on thelookout for something beyond all of us.What are the things that hold us back from experiencing the hope and expectation of something greater than we can ever imagine?What is it we hope for? What do we desire? Will the fulfillment of these things bring peace, joy, love? Are we consumed by the secular world and all its passing trends? Doyou not hunger for what is true and lasting?What kind of choices do we make? Do we choose to find satisfaction in the things moneycan buy? Do we choose to stand up for what is right? Do we choose to speak up or besilent? Do these choices bring us closer to or further away from the promise of Salvation?Do we spend so much time taking care of our outward appearances that we neglect togive the same care to our interior lives? Do you even know you have an interior world?
Are we so busy talking about what other people are doing that we drown out the voice of God and fail to hear what He is trying to do in our souls? Do you not know that our words can sometimes cause damage and leave us broken and that His Word is all healingand forgiving?Do we go out about paying close attention to the things that are built up in this world for  brief enjoyment and forget that more attention should be given to the things that build upthe Kingdom of God which has in it life giving Light and eternal delight? Do you really believe in the everlasting promise?
Advent should become a time to prepare ourselves for this promise of salvation… a timeof quiet anticipation, and careful preparation. A time to undo the violence inflicted uponeach soul, a time to believe that we will be made whole. It is the time to let God, theCreator give us our sight, a time to step out of the darkness and journey into the light.Antiphon 1:
O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: Come, and teach us the way of  prudence. Hope -
We become caught up in promises of a better way of life in modern conveniences; and place our hopes in fantastic claims. And when these claims don’t hold up to our expectations, disappointment can be severe. We learn, sometimes bitterly, that there is aninsecure hope in the things of this world.In this bitter disappointment, may we come to know that “when there is no human sourceof hope” we can always talk to God; but we must listen too. God speaks and marvelousworks are produced. Wisdom from the mouth of the Most High will teach us good judgment and common sense if only we allow His voice to fill our hearts and direct usonto the path of righteousness. What He promises is to fill us with a Hope that isenduring and sustaining.Antiphon 2:
O Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come, and redeem us withoutstretched arms. Peace – 
“When God, in the beginning, created man He made him subject to his own free choice.If you choose you can keep the commandments.” It was this free choice that led to thefirst fall… and it is still this same freedom of choice, which has always been respected bythe Creator that causes us to stumble and fall repeatedly. The freedom of choice whichthe world says is our very basic right has brought about a false sense of peace. “Woe tothose who call evil good and good evil, who change darkness into light and light intodarkness, who change bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter!”
It is also this freedom to choose which enables us to experience a deep inner peace whichno worldly source can ever give. He holds out to us the promise of everlasting peace if only we are willing to be obedient to His commands.He invites us to take His outstretched hand, He will lift us up when we fall; all envy andstrife shall cease, the Lord’s plans are simply peace.Antiphon 3:
O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save man whom you fashioned out of clay. Joy -
We desire to be united as a people the world over, real unity can only happen if each one of us is united to Him who fashioned us out of clay, united to Him who is thecornerstone. Then only can we become “living stones” united with one another, livingstones that will be used to build up the Kingdom.We must recognize that we are truly created in His image and are called to reflect all thatis good in Him. Yet, how often times do we distort that image when we choose to befilled up with the things of this world? We think we are defined by the possessions weacquire and by the means we go about to obtain those possessions. The pursuit of thesethings fills us with a misguided expectation of happiness and joy. The riches of the worldcan only bring about a temporary joy whereas the riches of God’s Kingdom promise awealth of joy for eternity.Antiphon 4:
O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the nations and their 
Savior. Come and save us, O Lord our God. Love – 
 Do we realize that we go about seeking love in all the wrong places? We expect that acertain someone will be our “soul mate” and will fulfill all our longings. And all toooften, relationship after relationship, we are abandoned by the one to whom we give our lives to. It all ends up as nothing but a fleeting love filled with broken promises. Wemove on, restlessly searching… for more of the same. “For you have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until we find rest inyou.”St. Augustine’s heart found rest in his Creator. He discovered that falling in love withGod was the greatest of all romances.God is Love and out of this great love did he first form us to live in the harmony of hishope, his peace, his joy and his love… and it is because of this love that He will never abandon His creation. And so to us, God Himself gives a sign of this everlasting love andcare, a sign of His romance with the created, the sign of His breaking through into theworld of His creation, “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel.”
God without us will keep us in the dark deep, but God with us will bring us out of thosedepths and raise us into His Light. His created shall become re-created. This is the goal of our lives, the love that we long for. This is the promise of a lasting love.

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