Advent is a time of expectation. In other words, it is a time of longing and prayer. Yet, our longing and expectation can be disturbed and challenged by the amount of uncertainty and incomprehensible situations we are faced with in today’s world. They build and increase anxiety and stress in our lives in such a way that we can wonder whether still life has a meaning.
Our search for this meaning of life can take us in two opposite directions. A first direction would be an attempt to self-defeat, as we declare ourselves powerless and unable to make any difference in the face of the enormous difficulties that characterize life in the world today. This self-defeat attitude would take us then to search for happiness in areas contradictory to our Christian identity. Pope Benedict XVI calls these easy to find areas “Illusory happiness,” and “cheap salvation” where our souls dive into relativism and nihilism. The second direction would be to long for an outcome that takes us in the footsteps of the One Who is the very meaning of life, Jesus Christ whom prepare to welcome in our life, and into the secrecy of our hearts. Here is where the true light that comes from the Lord enlightens us to find and embrace true happiness and solace.
It is in preparation for this second direction that we have opted for the Advent Challenge in our parish family. I invite us all to undertake the challenge of book reading that will help support our search for the meaning of life on our journey to encounter and to welcome Jesus. The support for our challenge is offered in the Book “The Search” by Chris Stefanick and Paul McCusker. This Advent Companion is an easy reading book that will walk us and with us on the journey to the discovery of the meaning of life with and in Jesus Christ when, like the Israelites we wander in the desert, weary, lost, confused, yet praying to escape the shackles of fear and hopelessness at the sight of the events surrounding us.
Another good thing about this book is that it has an audio as well as video support in www.FORMED.ORG . You can watch the film and be inspired for personal or/and family reflection as you search in faith for answers to the issues you are faced with. You do not need new subscription to watch or listen to the book. As Holy Cross parishioner you have free access. The parish has already subscribed for you to provide a tool and support for your ongoing Faith Formation. Try it, and you will be surprise about how much you will able to refresh the knowledge of your catholic faith.
I would like to wish you all a blessed and fruitful Advent as we begin this jour of prayer and longing for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. And let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.